THE Ministry of Energy and Meteorology last week launched a M11.7 million rural electrification project covering five villages in Maseru.
A total of 846 families in Ha Ramatekane, Ha-Ntšohi, Tšieng-Ha Moshesha, Ha-Photsa and Hlalele villages, will benefit from the project.
Speaking at the launch at the Lilala community council, the Minister of Energy and Meteorology, Mokoto Hloaele, said the development of the electricity infrastructure that will enable the households to be connected was underway.
Two companies, Elite Electrical and Highlands Electrical contractors are working on the wiring to make way for a development that the two villages had been waiting for, for many years.
“I would like to assure every household that joined in the electrification scheme and paid the minimum deposit required that they will soon have electricity installed in their homes,” Mr Hloaele said.
Each household is expected to pay a full installation fee of M2000 while those who had not joined the scheme due to financial challenges were encouraged to pay deposit and make arrangements to pay the outstanding balance in instalments.
“As government we are determined to ensure we increase the coverage of electricity in the country, particularly in rural areas. Our vision as the ministry is not to leave any community behind. We are working tirelessly to achieve this development because it is also one way of attracting development of rural economies and making hard to reach areas appealing to professionals such as teachers and nurses who shun working in some areas due to lack of a number of things, including electricity. I am happy that very soon schools that were unable to offer computer classes due to lack of electricity will be able to provide such skills to the students,” Mr Hloaele said.
Also present at the launch was the deputy minister of Health ‘Manthabiseng Phohleli who explained the importance of electricity in the rural areas, particularly at health centres. “Electricity save lives in hospitals and clinics because it helps to keep machines that support operations running, such as the equipment that doctors use in their work, incubators for premature babies, ventilation machines that help people to breathe and some medicines. Good lighting is also important in helping to ease doctors and nurses’ operations during night time,” Ms Phohleli said.
She said for the health sector, the electrification of the rural areas was a huge development that would enable to improve the quality of services provided at health centres.