REA surpasses target lighting up rural areas

Wednesday December 01 2021
Rea pic

A total of 716,847 people have been supplied with power at a cost of over Sh2.66 trillion since REA’s establishment in 2007. PHOTO | FILE

By Josephine Christopher

Dar es Salaam. Fourteen years since its establishment, the Rural Energy Agency (REA) has revealed that it has achieved giving access of electricity to 69.6 percent of rural mainland Tanzania by 2020.
The achievement exceeds the 50 percent target that the government agency had planned, according to REA director general Hassan Saidy.
REA is an autonomous body under the ministry of Energy and Minerals and its main role is to promote and facilitate improved access to energy in rural areas of mainland Tanzania.
A total of 716,847 people have been supplied with power at a cost of over Sh2.66 trillion since REA’s establishment in 2007.
Speaking yesterday during a press brief on the rural electrification during 60 years of Independence, Mr Saidy said through the agency the government was able to supply electricity to all districts headquarters in the country.
“We have also facilitated the installation of 725 biogas plants at different rural areas in the country, as well as installing electricity systems to 831 civil servants households in the education and health sector in Shinyanga, Kigoma, Kagera, Coast, Lindi, Mtwara, Ruvuma and Tabora,” he said.
By having an access to electricity the rural communities was also able to advance agriculture processing, as well as implementation of small to medium industries in  upcountry regions, he says.
Mr Saidy said, “It have aided the improvement of irrigation farming at plantation including Mtakuja plantation in Kilimajaro, and Zuzu in Dodoma.”
According to REA the agency plans to give electricity access to 75 percent of rural Tanzania by 2025 and achieve a fully coverage come 2030.
The REA boss told the press that they would continue to cooperate with financial institution to finance more power projects in rural areas.
He said, “These projects need big funding   and its success also depend on good government support, and that of development partners and donors.”
Moreover, he stated there are still challenges that limits some of the rural to yet get access of electricity include poor infrastructures, lack of awareness and some unable to buy some of the connecting supplies due to income restrictions.