The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) has observed that connecting all districts that are currently running on diesel generated power to the national electricity grid will save about US$ 8 million which it spends on fuel per annum.
ZESCO Acting Transmissions Director Webster Musonda disclosed that the power utility company spends about US$8 million on running diesel generators in districts that are not connected to the national electricity grid countrywide.
Mr. Musonda said ZESCO’s resolve to begin connecting rural districts to the national grid was meant to serve huge sums of money and to service its clients better because diesel generators were not reliable and have limited capacity.
He was speaking during his presentation at the stakeholders’ awareness and engagement meeting in Lukulu district of Western province on May 7th 2014.
The presentation was on the North-western province electricity grid extension project to which Lukulu district in Western province will be connected.
Government, through ZESCO, has embarked on constructing a grid extension project in North-western province which will cost US$163 million.
And Deputy Minister of Energy Charles Zulu has warned people of North-western and Lukulu district to desist from acts of vandalism noting that this will promote the electrification project in their areas.
Mr. Zulu, who is leading a team of officers from his ministry and ZESCO on the sensitisation of stakeholders in the province, stated that government would want to fulfil the promises it made to the people by connecting them to the national grid.
He said government, through ZESCO, has already secured funds for the project and will not allow hindrances by some people hence the warning to stop acts of vandalism.
He pointed out that cooperation from people living in project areas would allow works to be completed on schedule.
Mr. Zulu commended ZESCO for its commitment to its duty of connecting all Zambians to the national grid.
The team has held meetings with stakeholders in Solwezi, Kabompo and Lukulu districts and will proceed to Zambezi, Chavuma and Mwinilunga where the projects will also be implemented.
In all the districts where the team has had meetings, the chiefs, public servants and the business community have praised government for embarking on an ambitious project of connecting their areas to the national electricity grid.
One of the traditional leaders in the project area, who lives about 55 kilometres away from the main road, was happy that his palace will be electrified.
The chief has since appealed to government to consider working on the road which leads to his palace.
The traditional leader was also impressed to hear that all his subjects, who will be affected by the implementation of the project, will be compensated but he appealed to the contractor to give jobs equally amongst chiefdoms in project areas.