Big Concession electricity project risk being white elephant

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The multi million Kwacha ‘Big Concession’ electrification project in Mumbwa may become a white elephant because public institutions and the other beneficiaries have not met the target of conducting internal wiring of their structures.

This came to light yesterday during a sensitization stakeholders’ meeting held in the office of the District Commissioner.

Rural Electrification Authority (REA) Community Mobilization Officer Naomi Sidono expressed concern that some public institutions such as schools and health institutions have not met the requirement of doing internal wiring of their structures despite the project nearing completion.

Mrs. Sidono said the jointly funded European Union [EU] and government project agreed with public institutions that REA would only drop the service cable up to the shackle while the wiring will be done by the beneficiaries.

She wondered how the institution will manage to meet the monthly electricity costs if they were having difficulties to raise funds to do electrical wiring of their buildings.

Mrs. Sidono also expressed concern at Zesco’s alleged failure to educate the electricity beneficiaries in the farming block on the procedures and amounts involved for one to be connected.

But Mumbwa District Medical Officer Christopher Dube said Kaindu Rural Health Centre had already been wired while the remaining health centers will be completed by end of March this year.

The meeting agreed to involve investors in the farming block to help the Ministry of Education to wire the buildings.

The schools that need wiring are Kaindu, Big Concession, Kashinka, Kabwanga and Kalenda.