The Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) has reaffirmed its support towards the construction of the Ngonye falls hydro-electric power project in Sioma district, Western Province.
In a statement made available to the media, BRE Ngambela of the Limulunga Kuta, Manyando Mukela said the project will have a significant impact on the province hence the royal establishment will offer the needed support towards its implementation.
“As the largest ever private sector investment in the province, it will create job and economic opportunities as they have assured us of over 3,000 job creation. This will help address the unemployment and poverty levels,” Mr Mukela stated.
The Ngambela explained that the establishment has been a key partner to the Western power project since 2012, with aim to ensure maximum benefits for the communities in the region.
He further added that the project will further improve electricity supply for businesses, as well as individual households, thereby facilitating the growth of industrial hubs in the province.
Mr. Mukela noted that the electricity project intends to support the natural and social heritage of the communities, adding that an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) has also been carried out.
“Working with National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) and our traditional chiefs, a visitors’ center will be established near Ngonye Falls, where information, images, and art-facts from our rich cultural heritage will be displayed,” He said.
“As part of our stakeholder and community engagement activities to ensure full understanding of the project, I led a team consisting of representatives of the BRE leadership in the project area and conducted a district sensitization tour of seven districts. The tour team visited the senior chiefdoms in Nalolo, Libonda, Mwandi, Naliele, Namayula and Kaunga-Mashi,” He added.
The Ngambela further encouraged continued collaboration with all key stakeholders working on the project.
The Ngonye Falls in Sioma and Senanga districts in Western Province is expected to house a 550 million the United States dollar hydropower station, being constructed by the Western Power Company.