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Government has appointed the Botswana Power Corporation to implement the electrification of 88 villages using renewable energy, says the corporations 2006 annual report.
Government is funding the project in partnership with Global Environment Facility (GEF) and a total of P34 million has been set aside for the project, which is expected to run for five years.
The report says, government commitment to fund electrification of villages continued and 100 villages have been identified for electrification in the next three years.
It adds that government is in the process of securing funds for the implementation of the project and during the 2005/06 financial year no new villages were electrified due to budgetary constraints.
It also says, BPC through its complementary efforts continued towards village electrification by committing P11 million for network extensions for 12 villages which include; Mohembo, Serule, Mmankgodi, Morwa, Sikwane, Mabalane, Ramonaka, Malolwane, Mathubudukwane, Tati-siding, Paje, kasane and Kasane/Kazangula.
This was in addition to the P10 million for the network extensions in the previous period for Shoshong, Tsau, Shashe-Mooke, Rakops, Shorobe, Kalamare, Khakhea, Mmopane, Dkar and Matlapaneng villages.
The corporation believes that a reliable and good quality electricity supply plays a key role in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
In line with efforts to facilitate the diversification of the national economy, the report says the corporation recognises the critical importance of commercial and industrial customers and as such the processing of connections to the customers continue to be a priority.
All efforts are made to provide connections in the shortest possible time, it says. On new connections, the report says the corporation connected 15 579 new customers most of which were from the Central District followed by the South East District and Kweneng.
The targeted number of 16 476 new connections was not achieved resulting in a short fall of 897.
The total number of customers was 151 800, representing an increase of 10.3 percent on the 136 221 at the beginning period under review.
According to the report the distribution of total customers among the districts showed that most of the connections were in the South East followed by the Central District and then the North East.
It further states that there was a growth over the past 12 years, which was mainly due to governments initiative in funding electrification infrastructure and affordable terms of payment for new connections.
The Corporation continued with its commitment towards providing a reliable and high quality supply of energy to facilitate economic development as well as to enhance the well-being of Botswana, it says.
The report also says the corporation is expected to become more lean, agile and responsive to the customers needs.
News date: 22/12/2006