Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

12 September 2012

Tanzania: Solar Power Project Improves Lives in Zanzibar

Zanzibar — SEVERAL villagers without electricity in Zanzibar are now admiring Kendwa Village in north Unguja, where residents have benefited from a solar power lighting project.

Leaders from far and nearby villages, to Kendwa, feel the project should be extended to areas without electricity in the constituency because "it looks easy and affordable to many poor families." Mr Haroun Ali Suleiman, legislator for Makunduchi in South Unguja, has been among leaders who have openly hailed the Kendwa solar power project, where three women technicians have managed to connect electricity to 80 households in two months.

"This is a good project; I should have it in my constituency where some villages have no electricity," Suleiman said when he visited Kendwa to see the solar power project being supported by the Indian government.Provisionally, there was an agreement between Suleiman and the Consul General of India in Zanzibar, Mr Pawan Kumar who said it was possible to extend the project through women technicians training others in the villages.

"It is possible to extend the project because the three women are now experts and can now train others to do the electrification," the ambassador said. The three illiterate women from Kandwi: Ms Fatma Juma Haji, Ms Patima Ali Adam, Mrs Mwashamba Khamis Makame were sent to India last year for six months practical training in solar power equipment installation. The target is to install solar panels and lamps in about 400 households in Kendwa.

Matemwe Village, in north Unguja has been earmarked for similar project to start as soon as other three women currently finalizing solar power equipment installation course returns homes before the end of this year.

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