—-The Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has urged communities that would benefit from the electricity grid extension project to engage in productive uses of power unlike just lighting to improve their social and economic welfare.
Speaking when she paid a courtesy call on Chililabombwe District Commissioner, Stuart Chitumbo, REA Community Mobilisation Officer, Naomi Sidono, called for enhanced sensitization to ensure communities engaged in various income generating activities that require the use of electricity.
REA is currently installing 11 KV power lines in various remote communities in Chililabombwe under a project dubbed Chinfunshi Grid Extension at a cost of KR 8 million.
Ms Sidono said the setting up of economic activities would also enable community members and public institutions settle electricity bills they would incur to avoid unnecessary disconnections.
She further said the authority was poised to promote renewable energy technologies, such as mini hydro power stations, in various parts of the country in its quest to increase access to electricity which is ideal in economic growth.
Ms Sidono cited the installation of sustainable solar projects in public institutions like schools and health centres as another form of renewable technology that the authority was promoting in partnership with the private sector.
And Mr Chitumbo urged rural schools to apply through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) so that they could be assisted with funds for wiring their institutions to ensure they get connected immediately the REA extension grid reaches their precincts.
Mr Chitumbo urged the REA team and their contractors to work closely with the district administration to ensure challenges encountered in implementing the project are addressed to avoid unnecessary delays.
The REA, which was created through an Act of Parliament, is mandated to increase access to electricity to improve quality of life for people in rural areas courtesy of funding from government and the donor community.