17 August 2012

Tanzania: Sort Out Problems of Power Cuts - PM

Dodoma — THE government has directed the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) to visit Uganda and Zambia and sort out problems of power cuts, affecting parts of the country connected to the two countries for electricity.

The Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo, said the supply of power imported from Uganda and Zambia has been inconsistent, prompting his office to send Tanesco management from head office to seek answers to the problems from the respective countries.

Prof Muhongo said Bukoba in Kagera Region and Sumbawanga in Rukwa Region receive electricity imported from Uganda and Zambia respectively and have been enduring problems of power cuts.

The minister was responding to a supplementary question from Michael Laizer (Longido-CCM), who wanted to know if the government will connect Kamwanga Ward in Longido District to imported electricity from Kenya. The area shares the border with Kenya. Prof Muhongo said the country will not rush to import electricity before exhausting its own resources.

"It is true, there is the East Africa Power Pool, to which Tanzania is the host this year, but we should not rush to import power before exhausting our own resources," he explained.

He said more than 55 per cent of the population will be connected to the national grid by 2015, adding that Mauritius is the leading country in Africa with 99.4 per cent of its population being connected to electricity, followed by South Africa with 75 per cent.

Earlier, while responding to a basic question by Henry Shekifu (Lushoto - CCM), who wanted to know the government's plans in connecting all villages in Lushoto constituency to the national grid, the Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr Stephen Masele, said the government conducted an assessment to connect Ngwelo and Mlola wards, a project estimated at 2bn/-.

He said the project will include construction of a 25km electricity infrastructure and connection of 4 transformers with the capacity of 100kv. Areas to benefit from the project include Hemtoe, Masale and Makole. He said the Rural Electricity Agency (REA) plans to implement the project in 2013/14.

Mr Masele said in Malimbwi and Kwenganga wards where the president promised power connection, the project will cost 900m/-. This will include construction of 11km and 4km electricity infrastructures including a 100Kv transformer. The project will also begin in 2013/14.

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