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REA celebrates rural electrification

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THE Rural Electrification Agency (REA) on Thursday held celebrations at Khalanyoni High School in Mangwe to mark the successful completion of an electrification project in that area.

MAMELO NKOMO
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Energy and Power Development secretary Patterson Mbiriri said the country had recorded a significant improvement in the generation of electricity in the rural areas.

“In Matabeleland South, out of 764 rural institutions that have been electrified, 29 primary schools have been electrified in Mangwe disctrict and 18 are yet to be electrified,” he said.

“Out of 13 secondary schools in the district, 12 have been electrified and one is being electrified as I speak and out of 12 health centres, 10 have been electrified.”

Mbiriri said the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) was working on electrifying all institutions in the district, although he raised concern about vandalism, saying this was pegging back the project.

“REF sometimes gets $4 million to $6 million from Zesa. We now use this money to replace what has been vandalised,” he explained.

“The line from St Joseph Hospital has been repeatedly stolen, how can anyone steal something from a hospital?”

REA board vice-chairperson Cecilia Chitiyo said the REF had made significant funds and has faced some challenges.

“REF intends to electrify all those areas which are 15 meters from the electricity grids and REA is putting mini solar grid in areas which are far away from the grid,” she said.

The local MP, Obedingwa Mguni, encouraged people to open small irrigation schemes, carpentry and bakery shops because REA had given them means to.

Khalanyoni headmaster, Raymond Mguni, expressed his gratitude for the electrification of their school.

“Learners now have an opportunity to use computers freely and practical subjects like science will now be amusing,” he said.

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