REA completes 233 out of targeted 434 projects in 2021

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Harare(New Ziana) -The Rural Electrification Agency was able to complete 233 electricity connection projects out of the 434 that it had targeted last year, with the Covid-19 being the major drawback to meeting the target, an official said on Thursday.

The completed projects brought to 9 790 the total number that the agency has finished since it was established in 2002.

REA spokesperson Johannes Nyamayedenga told New Ziana that they managed to accomplish the feat despite a host of challenges, chiefly the Covid-19 pandemic and shortage of foreign currency to purchase materials.

He said REA switched on electricity at 233 projects, leaving 201 at various stages of completion.

“Out of the 201 projects, 125 are complete but could not be switched on because of the non-availability of transformers,” he said.

“Transformers remain a challenge as suppliers are finding it hard to meet our needs as they are facing foreign currency challenges.”

Nyamayedenga said 76 projects were at various stages of construction and had been carried forward to this year.

He singled out the Covid-19 pandemic as the major obstacle to completion of projects as some of the strict containment measures that the government introduced prevented line construction workers from doing their best.

“Our operations rely on high numbers when it comes to labour and hence Covid-19 guidelines severely affected our ability to implement projects,” he said, adding an ageing fleet of operational vehicles which often break down and old infrastructure also contributed to failure to complete the targeted.

The Zimbabwe government established REA in 2002 to spearhead rapid and equitable electrification of rural areas in the country, which previous colonial governments excluded from its planning.

To date, the programme has seen the electrification of thousands of rural institutions, chiefs homes, farms, villages, boreholes, dam points and irrigation schemes.

New Ziana

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