President Edgar Lungu has directed the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) to accelerate the connection of electricity to the newly created Mushindamo District near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
REA Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Musonda told ZANIS in an interview that the Head of State wants the new district which is 130 kilometre from Solwezi District to also benefit from the country’s ambitious rural electrification programme.
Mr. Musonda said REA will spend about K30 million on the project to connect the area to the national electricity grid so that they can have access to reliable energy source.
He said among the facilities to be connected is the Kipushi border post housing the Immigration and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA offices, Kilumba and Mushindamo rural health centres, over 10 primary schools including Mushindamo Girls Technical School, government departments and some residencies.
Mr. Musonda said about 50 kilometres of overhead power lines have already been constructed out of a stretch of about 130 kilometres and all the materials have since been moved to the site.
He added that REA has also constructed a substation from which it will tap power from ZESCO to feed the grid extension that will take power to Mushindamo district and Kipushi border post.
Mr. Musonda further explained that the remaining works have since been segmented into four lots and will soon be awarded to contractors to expedite the completion of construction works before the commencement of the rain season.
And North-western Province Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga said government was happy with the progress made to electrify rural areas such as Kipushi border post.
Mr. Malupenga pointed out that President Lungu is desirous of developing Mushindamo district and Kipushi border post by ensuring that power is connected and a good road linking the area is constructed.
He said President Lungu further wants the vast economic potential of the area to be exploited in order to improve the livelihood of the people and contribute to the national economic development.
Mr. Malupenga said road works have already commenced adding that government will by 2016 upgrade the Solwezi-Mushindano road to bituminous standards under the link Zambia 8000 project.