ACCESS to electricity will have a substantial positive impact on the quality of life of the recipient communities and that is why electrification of informal settlements is in alignment with sustainable human settlements development was made a priority.
Mines and Energy Deputy Minister, Kornelia Shilunga during the inauguration of a new customer care office building of Erongo Red in Omaruru said and hundreds of households in the informal settlements of the town in the Erongo Region now have access to electricity.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy is currently busy with the implementation of the National Integrated Resource Plan (NIRP) with the aim of reducing Namibia’s over reliance on electricity imports from neighbouring countries. The NIRP is a 20-year development plan for Namibia’s Electricity Supply Industry, spanning the period between 2016 and 2035.
Shilunga said it provides a projection of Namibia’s expected future electricity demand, and identifies the mix of resources required to meet the country’s electricity needs in an efficient and reliable manner at the lowest reasonable cost.
“Our objective is to become self-sufficient when it comes to energy. Being over reliant on other countries when it comes to energy is just not an economic risk but also a security risk and we are working hard to mitigate the situation, said Shilunga.
The Ministry also has the Rural Electrification Program. Through this program, the Ministry has connected many villages to the grid as part of our Rural Electrification Program throughout the country.
“In the Erongo Region, we have connected villages of Daures Constituency like Kandaris, Okongue, Okamapuku, Okombahe and !Uikrens and in Karibib Constituency we have connected Okongova, Okaruze, Audaweb, and the Ministry is currently busy connecting Ondjeombarango in Karibib Constituency.”
She further noted that the electricity infrastructures, which were installed with the value of N$13 million, have been transferred to Erongo RED. He said is confident that this infrastructure will be extended to benefit many other residents.
“I am well aware of the pressure from consumers demanding lower electricity tariffs whilst the generation, transmission and distribution costs are ever increasing. I therefore call upon all role players to find ways to ensure that electricity prices are kept in line with economic indicators,” Shilunga noted.
Regional Distributors (REDS) are required to make concerted efforts to bring electricity services to the people.
She congratulate Erongo RED for their initiative called “Power to the People” which is aimed at bringing electricity to rural and peri-urban areas.
“I am informed that Erongo RED has completed the connection of 658 dwellings in Omaruru with electricity to the tune of N$9 million,” said Shilunga.