Tanzania: Hydropower Project Gets Kudos

PROGRESS made in the construction of the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHPP) along the Rufiji River has continued to win accolades from experts across the country.

The National Environment Management Council (NEMC) Board members expressed satisfaction at the stage reached to add 2115 megawatts to the national grid.

The board has said the project has considered all the environmental factors as well as environmental impact assessment. It is constructed at the Stiegler's Gorge area and will be completed in June 2022.

Speaking during their tour to the project area, NEMC Board Chairman, Prof Esnati Chaggu said it was encouraging to see that all players in the project are paying due attention to the environmental issues for the future prosperity of the ecology of the area.

"NEMC is working closely with the project to ensure that all procedures regarding environmental management are observed, and that the ecology of the project area is not disturbed by the construction," she said.

She added that completion of the scheme will trigger also tourism activities, because many will long to watch the site, a move that will boost the economy of the country.

"This project is highly dependent on the protection of water sources of the water flowing to the Rufiji River, therefore it's a responsibility of every one of us to pay much attention to it for the project to prosper," she explained.

Going forward, she assured the public that NEMC was continuing with awareness campaigns on the importance of protecting water sources, because they provide water that is going to fill the hydropower dam. On his part, the NEMC Director General Dr Samuel Gwamaka said the council will continue to provide professional advice for smooth execution of the project.

"We are all eagerly waiting to see the project completed on time and in good quality, which all environmental factors consider accordingly... this will also foster development of our country," he maintained.

The council will continue working closely with those undertaking projects that have been initiated by the government for Tanzanians to start benefiting from the investments. Commenting, Tanesco Head of Safety and Security at the project area, Dr Majige Mabulla said they are working day and night to ensure the work is completed on time without affecting the ecology of the area.

Last week, the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa promised government commitment and assurance that JNHPP contractors will be paid on time to enable them complete the work according to agreed timeframe.

The government has already disbursed 1.57tri/- out of 6.55tri/- budgeted for the project, with the Premier saying payment was made in relation to the work done.

Mr Majaliwa made the revelation, while witnessing a crucial stage of diverting some Rufiji River waters, a move that will be followed by construction of the cofferdam. He said the government has prioritised increased supply of electricity, a move that will stimulate economic activities and expand access to social services across the country.

"This is a strategic project that the government has invested much on, to ensure adequate supply of power in the country at a cheaper price," he said.

Speaking during the event, the Tanesco Managing Director Dr Tito Mwinuka said all the activities planned in the course had been completed and that the project is progressing well.

However, he assured that his company was working closely with the contractor, adding local engineers are also actively involved in the project that was started on June 15th last year. The project is jointly being implemented by Arab Contractors and Elsewedy Electricity from Egypt.

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