Mwinuna’s area sees light

THE Rural Electrification Authority (REA) says it has done over 90 percent of works on the electrification of Chief Mwinuna’s area in Mpongwe on the Copperbelt and expects to switch on power by April.
REA chief executive officer Geoffrey Musonda said in Mpongwe at the weekend that his institution and the contractor, Joe’s Electrical, are expected to complete phase one of the project by end of February.
Mr Musonda said REA wants to ensure the whole project is completed and electricity switched on by April because Mpongwe has become an important agricultural hub.
Government has invested K11 million in the Chief Mwinuna Electrification Project, which is part of the nationwide grid extension programme in which it hopes to connect most rural areas to the national grid.
“We have done 52 out of the 55 kilometres of the line. Phase one of the Mwinuna project will be completed by the end of February. By April, the whole area will be fully electrified,” Mr Musonda said.
He commended the contractor for demonstrating commitment towards the completion of the works.
Mr Musonda was happy to note that because of the project, an investor has set up a massive farm along the power line in anticipation of its completion.
“This is a typical example of how electricity attracts investment. As we can all see, agricultural activity is shifting to the northern part of the country because it receives better rainfall and it is important that such areas as Mpongwe are electrified.
“There is even a big farm coming up because of this project. It is a very big coverage area which includes schools, rural health centres and markets,” Mr Musonda said.
Phase one, which runs from Munkumpu turn-off to Chief Mwinuna’s palace, includes the electrification of a health centre,  school, local court and Chief Mwinuna’s palace.
Mr Musonda is on a tour of rural electrification projects in Mpongwe, Samfya and Mwansabombwe in Luapula Province.
The projects’ coverage area includes part of Zambeef Products Plc’s vast Mpongwe Farms where Zambia’s leading agri-business company has planted thousands of hectares of maize and soya beans this farming season.

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