Rural electrification agency connects over 55,000 households, surpasses 22,000 target


More than 55, 000 households have been connected to electricity countrywide under the Electricity Service Access Project (ESAP), a World Bank Funded programme.

The programme, targeting to electrify rural areas in Zambia is being implemented by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA).

And the Authority says it would next year rollout the second phase of the ESAP project as the demand has gone beyond the expectation.

REA Chief Executive Officer, Linus Chanda, said the project which aimed to improve rural connectivity went beyond the targeted 22, 000 connections.

Chanda said the programme was therefore revised to 34, 000 connections.

Speaking when he toured the Siavonga project on Monday, Chanda said the project would be extended next year due to increased demand as the connection fees under the world bank project were subsidised to as low as K250.

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He explained that the ESAP was the best performing project so far because it had gone beyond the expected target.

“Demand is still there especially with the increase in the ZESCO connection fees so as REA we are going to roll out the second phase to cushion those who cannot afford,” he said.

And speaking among the beneficiaries Mary Magasu, said she would have not connected her house to electricity without the help of REA because connection fees were expensive.

Magasu said her livelihood had improved from the time she was connected to power as she was selling ice, beer and other things that required to store in a refrigerator.

She said before being connected to electricity, she had a business of selling Kapenta but she stop because she had been sick for over three year and her life came to a standstill.

Magasu said after REA connected her to electricity she has ventured into a business that she was able to do while sitting at home because she cannot move.

Meanwhile, Gaver Nyirenda, another beneficiary said getting connected to electricity would enable him setup a barber shop and a welding workshop.

Nyirenda urged REA to continue with the ESAP project in order to continue improving people’s lives in rural areas.

REA has made 8,800 connection in Southern Province and Siavonga has gotten 500.

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