Tanzania: We Will Electrify Whole Nation - Minister

THE government has pledged to ensure that all villages in the country get connected with power as early as possible, given that there is availability of funds.

Deputy Minister for Energy, Mr Steven Byabato said they would like to see streets and villages get access to electricity by November this year.

Access means that any person who wants to get power could be connected from a reasonable distance. Mr Byabato was switching on the Rural Energy Agency (REA) III Phase at Kandaka village in Bonga Ward, Babati District.

The government through REA is completing the first round of the third phase. He said that completion of the same differs from place to place, depending on geographical locations and challenges facing REA from one place to another.

"Up to now, in the country we have 2,150 villages that have not been connected with power, including some in Manyara region that have been scheduled for getting the service. In any way, we want this third phase in its second round to be completed so that come December all villagers have power.

He called upon people who have been complaining about lack of electricity to be patient, because the exercise is implemented in phases and everybody will get access to power in the near future.

The Tanzania Electric Company (TANESCO) Manyara Regional Manager, Ms Rehema Mashinji said power will be used as means for villagers to get out of poverty but also light their houses, therefore they may as well buy some machines for production purposes.

Pupils and students will also be able to have a conducive environment for studies.

Kandaka Village Chairman, Mr Rajabu Mohamed said that villagers getting access to power will bring about many economic activities, especially for the youth.

Meanwhile, Manyara Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Joseph Mkirikiti has threatened to close washrooms of the Babati Central Market as the same gets filled often, endangering the health of traders and people living around the area.

The RC said it has now been common to see sewage draining down the roads and streets emitting a bad smell, something he said he can no longer stand because such situations can lead to spread of diseases such as cholera.

Speaking with traders at the market recently, Mr Mkirikiti said people tasked with work to ensure cleanliness in the area, such as ward executive officers and those under them have failed to shoulder properly their responsibilities.

He said it was not right for traders to be left struggling with such a burden while they always pay taxes that should be directed in offering proper services on time.

"If this problem persists, I will close down the toilet, and maybe even the market. We cannot operate in such a state," said the RC, sending a message to the Babati District Commissioner (DC)'s office.

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