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300k Namibian households unelectrified

Namibia’s overall electrification rate is estimated to be 50% which translates into about 300,000 unelectrified households, The Ministry of Mines and Energy has said.  

“This is a great number of people that do not have the means to hit a switch and have lights on so their children can study at night or cook using modern stoves or preserve their food and drinks in a refrigerator or run a barber shop or salon that requires electricity to make money and support their families,” Mines and Energy Executive Director Simeon Negumbo told an Electrification Day event in the capital on Tuesday. 

"Our estimates are that between 70-80% of our rural households do not have the kind of access brought to you today (The figures in urban localities are much better, around 70% of households in urban areas are connected to the grid).” 

Negumbo said electrification is a national challenge and one which the government through the Ministry of Mines and Energy is committed to take on. 

“It might seem to have been a very long time to reach our desired electrification rate, but taking the limited resources and the competing needs for rural electrification into consideration, every little milestone counts as an achievement." he said. 

“The Harambee Prosperity Plan has set targets to put the framework in place to speed up the rate of electrification.” 

In line with the government goals, he said the ministry has set a target to have all the households in Namibia electrified by 2040 or what what is known as universal access to the grid. 

“Achieving universal access is easier said than done and extending the grid to all the corners of our country in this context is very expensive, as electricity infrastructure must be maintained and replaced when it gets old. Namibia is a very large country and has a very small population, as a country we have a population density of around three persons per square kilometre. 

“This is a daunting task and I call for more coordination and involvement from all stakeholders (commercial banks, development partners, development financial institutions, local and international financing institutions). It's only through concerted efforts and dedication from all the stakeholders that we will reach this target of ours and maintain our infrastructure for the benefit of all," he said. 

The Executive Director further pleaded to the business community members to see it as their ultimate duty to ensure that they utilise the benefits of electricity and transform it into substantial economic initiatives. 

"I should notably highlight that although it is hard to imagine real development without electricity, the presence of electricity is by no means a pledge for development. It will be up to our own individual choices that high electrification rates will translate into the necessary economic development," he stated.

 

 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 23 November 2022 22:51

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