Pemba — UKUNJWI village in North Pemba will now have reliable power supply following installation of transformers connected to the National Grid from Tanga, Tanzania Mainland.
"After years, you have electricity. This is among many benefits of the union between Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland," President Ali Mohammed Shein said in his speech to launch the power.
He said that the electricity was an opportunity for the more than four thousand people in the village to develop including attracting investors in the area.
Dr Shein said: "Zanzibar had electricity in 1888 and history shows that Zanzibar was the first to have street lights before London." The president said that since his Government of National Unity (GNU) was formed about 110 villages have been connected to electricity and that about 87.5 per cent of the rural areas have power.
He said the government's plans are to make sure that all villages are connected to electricity, "now we invite investors. We have reliable power and land for investments.
But ask residents to protect the infrastructure." Dr Shein also emphasised on bill payment on time, as he encouraged the Zanzibar Electricity Company (ZECO) to cut power from stubborn debtors including government institutions.
As Ukunjwi villages' residents in Gando constituency celebrated, the minister responsible for power and water, Mr Ramadhan Abdalla Shaaban, said Fundo, a nearby isle should also expect to get power in the near future.
The Deputy Principal Secretary (PS) in the ministry, Mr Mustapha Jumbe said about 296.8m/- was spent on the project including 107.6m/- given out to compensate people for properties destroyed during the project.
While Pemba gets its 20 megawatts power from Tanga, Unguja Island benefit from 100 megawatts electricity from Dar es Salaam. However, Dr Shein said the government has been working hard to make sure that Zanzibar gets its own source of power.