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Government commissions power plant in Silobela

Story by Tafara Chikumira, Midlands Bureau Chief

GOVERNMENT has commissioned a Solar-Powered Plant in Silobela, Midlands Province in a move set to transform lives in the community.

It is a new dawn for Emelusi Primary and Secondary schools in Silobela after the area was switched on to solar-powered energy this Thursday.

Located some 100 kilometres west of the City of Kwekwe, the Emelusi community in rural Silobela is slowly becoming part of the ongoing rural transformation under the Second Republic’s mantra of leaving no one and no place behind.

For any college graduate, the dream of working in an urban set up is a lived reality, but 35-year-old Emelusi Secondary School Teacher, Mr Thomas Chibwanya has had a change of heart, thanks to the rural electrification programme.

“I came to this school in 2015. I have been trying to seek a transfer to an urban school in anticipation of better amenities. However, this was soon to change as the establishment of this power system has brought the city to my school. I am happy that it’s a solar powered system which means we are far much better than them. They experience load shedding but for us there is no such thing as we just put our meat and drinks in fridges,” said Mr Chibwanya.

With the two schools utilising only three of the 15 kilowatts being generated by the solar plant, expectations are that the project will also benefit rural households.

“I am very happy that we now have electricity in our area. Our children can now learn in a beautiful environment. However, we request government to extend this project to our homes so that we can also enjoy cold water and watch television.”

 “We anticipate that our children will start having high pass rates. With power here, they can study well and produce good results.”

“We used to struggle during study time as we used candles. With electricity at our school we can only promise our parents the best results.”

“We just hope that our school will be able to acquire computers so that we set up a computer lab. This will help us to venture into computer related studies as well as deal with CALA tasks,” said the locals .

Government has since promised to continue rolling out more infrastructure development projects across the country.

“These electrification initiatives afford communities access to energy which is a key enabler to the development of the rural areas of Zimbabwe. Schools will be able to offer ICT services to their students to allow e-learning. Equally important, this project will result in improved health provision in our communities,” said Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Senator Larry Mavima

The US$348 000 Emelusi Solar Plant was constructed over a period of two months as government continues to implement projects towards attainment of an upper middle income society by 2030.

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