The Rural Electricity Authority (REA) is to put up a three high power solar project for women in Chief Sipatunyana’s area in Kalomo District in Southern province.
REA Southern Regional Manager, Lavender Kamanga disclosed this when her team and members from the Non-Governmental Gender Coordinating Council (NGOCC) paid a courtesy call on Kalomo District Commissioner, Joshua Sikaduli recently.
ZANIS reports that Ms Kamanga said the high power solar plant project is to be set for the Ngolongozya Women Community alongside providing 100 solar power lighting to selected households in the area in conjunction with the NGOCC.
The project also comes with a water reticulation component and is to gobble 55.4 million United States dollars.
“We have a memorandum of understanding with the NGOCC in their quest to uplift the living standards of women, especially in the rural areas. That is why we have come up with this project,” Kamanga observes.
And NGOCC Project Manager, Irene Malama said her organization has realized the challenges women face in rural areas in their income generating activities hence the coming up with such an initiative to capacitate their efforts of lifting their livelihood.
“Women play a vital role in national development, so if we alleviate some of the challenges they face in their businesses, they will effectively contribute to national
Ngolongozya Women Cooperative is engaged in a number of income generating activities, among them grinding Sunflower to produce cooking oil but it is on low production due to lack of electric power.
The club is among several women groups in Kalomo that has received pass on agro inputs through Heifer International.
And Kalomo District Commissioner Joshua Sikanduli has welcomed the project saying such a venture will alienate the financial dependence of women from their spouses as it brings hope for closing the gender equality gap.
He however, called on REA to consider rolling out such ventures to other parts of the district so that women can be self-sustainable in income generating activities.