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Over 9000 rural institutions electrified through REF

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Over 9000 rural institutions electrified through REF

Story by Wellington Makonese

MORE than 9 000 rural institutions including schools and rural health centers have been electrified countrywide through the Rural Electrification Fund.

The six percent levy on electricity has contributed significantly to the electrification of rural institutions where over nine thousand have been connected to the national grid.

While bidding farewell to long-serving REF Chief Executive Officer, Engineer Joshua Mashamba in Harare this Thursday, the government highlighted inroads made in providing clean and affordable energy through the construction of grids.

“During his tenure, the rate of electrification in rural areas rose significantly with Primary Schools reaching 63%, Secondary schools at 75% and chiefs homesteads 95%. Over and above huge progress in the promotion of new and alternative energy technologies in rural areas has been made.

“In that regard, REF now boasts of 95 Institutional Biogas digesters constructed, 437 solar mobile units distributed, 450 solar micro-grids and the launched of the solar community-grid programme which has seen the construction and commissioning of the pilot project at Bemba,” said the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Engineer Gloria Magombo.

The outgoing REF CEO is optimistic the country’s energy provision blueprint will be fulfilled in earnest.

“I am grateful for the support that I got during my tenure and believe we have capable leaders to guide in fulfilling the aspirations national goal,” he said.

The Rural Electrification Fund, a government vehicle to facilitate electricity provision has made inroads to provide alternative energy technologies through the construction of biogas digesters, solar mobile units, and community solar grids in areas such as Bemba in Matabeleland North and Kanyemba in Mashonaland Central Province.