N$25m set aside for northern rural electrification

By Eliaser Ndeyanale

OSHAKATI Premier Electric (OPE) has set aside N$25 million to electrify five villages that are within the borders and jurisdiction of the Oshakati Town Council. The villages are Oshandumbala, Othingo, Onendongo, Emono and Onawa.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony for the rural electrification project at Oshandumbala recently, Oshakati Premier Electric CEO Nelson Sheya said the rural electrification project is in line with OPE’s strategic plan to achieve total electrification of all households within its area of responsibility.

According to Sheya, Oshakati Premier Electric will start with the electrification of Oshandumba village to give access to electricity to the people in that village and intends to finish the plan to electrify the other four villages within seven years.

Oshakati Premier Electric commissioned an electrification master plan in 2001 with the aim to electrify the peri-urban area of Oshakati to extend access to electricity to the community of Oshakati.

“We started with the electrification of Uupindi North, Uupindi South, Evululuko extension 10, 11 and 12 and finalised with Okandjengedi and Ompumbu. These projects were financed from our retained earnings and amounted to about N$30 million,” he said.

In addition, he said in 2016 OPE identified households that had access to electricity but had not been connected to the grid in the informal settlements. He said they identified about 1200 houses and then  approached Oshakati Town Council to reinvest 50 percent of its returns into OPE for two financial years in order to connect the identified households to the grid.

He revealed that the cost of that initiative was about N$7 million and so far about 1000 households have been connected with ready board and prepaid meters at no cost to the end-user in the peri-urban areas.

“We believe this initiatives supports the government’s Harambee Prosperity Plan and in doing so specifically supports the HPP pillars of Economic Advancement, Social Progression, Infrastructure Development, as well as effective governance by delivering services to the people and thereby ensuring prosperity for all and creating a society where no one feels left out,” he said.

Sheya added that the initiative also supports the sustainable development agenda to end poverty in all its forms everywhere, to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable modern energy for all and to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.

Speaking at the same occasion, Oshakati Mayor Angelus Iiyambo commended OPE for its continuous efforts to ensure that the residents receive electricity and indeed for embarking on the project. He also discouraged traditional leaders of villages within the town boundaries of Oshakati from selling such land.

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