Rural Electrification Authority (REA) Chief Executive Officer, Clement Silavwe, has expressed disappointment over the theft of energy saving bulbs being given to beneficiaries of the rural electrification project in Mpika district.
Mr Silavwe has since described the unfortunate trend as pure vandalism and criminal.
The REA Chief says this is the reason people are not putting the bulbs outside their houses as security lighting, but instead have resorted to fit the bulbs inside their houses for fear of being stolen.
ZANIS reports that Mr Silavwe was speaking when he inspected the implementation of the Rural Electricity Service Access Project (ESAP) in Mpika today.
Mr Silavwe however, said he is impressed with the way REA is implementing the ESAP project not only in Mpulungu, but the entire cycle of the project.
“We laid out the project correctly, the reason we are getting positive feedback from the people, as you can see here in Mpika, the set target was about a thousand, but 938 has already been done,” Mr Sikazwe stated.
He also disclosed that one of the recipients of ESAP project is Northern Province and was allocated 3,200 connections of which 2,900 have been done so far.
Mr Sikazwe further explained that the project is being implemented over five years, from the approval date of June 27, 2017, to closing date of 31 August, 2022 with the overall fiduciary responsibility for the project being vested in REA as an implementing agent.
“The project’s development objective is to increase access in rural areas of Zambia, “he added.
He said through this programme, low-income households and medium to small scale enterprises in rural areas are being connected to the national grid at a subsidized cost of 250 kwacha and 769 respectively as compared to 750 and 1,500 Kwacha.
The government of Zambia requested the World Bank to support scaling up the rural electrification programme through Electricity Service Access Project (ESAP).
The Bank has since approved a credit facility of 26 million dollars for the project towards scaling up the rural electrification project in Northern, Luapula, Copperbelt, North-western province, Eastern, Muchinga, Southern and Western provinces.