The Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has assured the people of Petauke District in Eastern Province that the Kaulu Grid Extension Project will be completed by April 30, 2015.
REA Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Musonda said he is impressed with the way initial connectivity works are going on in the district.
Mr Musonda was speaking when he inspected the Kaulu Grid Extension Project in Petauke District today which is estimated to cost K8, 649,878.
He said once completed the project will supply electricity to six schools, two Rural Health Centres, one Chief’s Palace, one Police Post, one market as well as the surrounding households.
Mr Musonda said the project involves the construction of the 33 kilometres of 33 kilo volts high voltage, six kilo metres of medium voltage and installation of seven transformers with total capacity of 600 KVA.
He said the project is in two parts which includes the Kaulu Grid Extension Project in Petauke district which has the 10 kilo metres of the 33 kilo volts and Chipembe line in Nyimba district which is about 23 kilometres of the 33 kilo volts.
And Kalindawalo Health Centre Nurse in Charge Rabson Mwansa said the health facility has been greatly hit by lack of electricity as vaccines for various purposes cannot be stored due to lack of a fridge.
He said vaccines such as Tetenus oxides used in assault cases and immunisation of infants is not readily available at the health centre and unjustified referrals were made to Petauke District Hospital due to lack of power.
Mr Mwansa said it is impossible to also attend to women who want to give birth in the night due to lack of power at the health centre.
He however, thanked REA for its [plans to connecting the rural health centre to the national grid, stating that public health workers have been shunning the institution resulting in the health facility to have no Clinical Officer.
And Senior Chief Kalindawalo of the Nsenga people who is one of the beneficiaries of the Kaulu Grid Extension connecting the area to the national grid said the move will greatly improve the living standards of the over 30,000 people in his chiefdom.
He said it is unfortunate that lack of electricity in his chiefdom has hindered the progress of economic activities, adding that some people are traveling long distances to access Hammer Mills for maize meal and other valuable grains for consumption.