The Zambian Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has announced a plan to spend USD 770,000 over the next year on the electrification of 165 public and social institutions across four as a part of the World Bank-funded Sustainable Solar Market Packages (SSMP) program.
According to the CEO of the REA, Geoffrey Musonda, said the projects will be carried out in the Zambezi and Mwinilunga districts in North Western Province and in Lundazi and Chama districts in Eastern Province and will include the procurement, installation, commissioning and provision of maintenance services for solar systems over a period of five years.
Speaking at the recent signing of the contracts, Mr. Musonda indicated that two contractors would be responsible for the implementation of the project with the Uganda-based Trans Africa Supply Services Limited managing projects in the Mwinilunga, Lundazi and Chama districts and the Chinese firm Kantech International (Jiangxi) managing the Zambezi district project.
The initial phase of the SSMP was launched by the REA in 2011 which resulted in the installation of 707 facilities in the districts of Isoka, Kalomo and Lukulu for a total connection cost of USD 2.6 million.
As a result of a number of government and multinational funded projects under the REA, access to electricity for the rural population in Zambia has increased from 2% to an average of 5% over the past few years.