MASERU – The Ministry of Energy and Meteorology will electrify 1088 households from four villages in Thetsane constituency under the Rural Electrification Project.
The M23 million project is a first to be implemented in urban areas since its aim is primarily to bring power to rural and remote areas of the country and facilitate economic development to alleviate poverty.
The project will start next week and is projected to be complete by October this year.
Speaking at the launch of the project, Minister of Energy and Meteorology Mohapi Mohapinyane said the decision to pilot the project in Thetsane constituency came after realising that villages in towns are growing at a rapid rate.
He said among the urban communities, there are less privileged people that cannot afford to install electricity on their own, hence the government’s decision to intervene.
Mohapinyane said the other reason for piloting the project at Thesane constituency is because Thetsane is an industrial area and contributes more to the country’s revenue.
To ensure the project succeeds, he said the communities that will benefit from this project established electricity schemes in 2018 where each household contributed M2 000.
The government contracted three companies to electrify the villages and these are expected to meet with the concerned villages next week to decide on a way forward.
Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro, officiating at the launch of the project noted said the same project will also be implemented in Motimposo.
According to Majoro, the project will create 70 jobs and urged the contractors to prioritise Thetsane residents for job opportunities.
“We have a lot of electricians here at Thetsane. Do not come with people from other places for job opportunities unless the skills you need are not available among the community,” he noted.
He added that after completion of the project, there will be installation of Apollo lights since the streets are not lit.
“I am aware that street lights around Maseru are not being lit, the government has money to light the streets but every time I ask about them government officials point fingers.
“MCC (Maseru City Council) says the roads belong to (the Ministry of) Public Works therefore they cannot light them. Public Works also refuses to light them. I gave them until next week to light the streets or I get someone who will do the job,” Majoro said.
Majoro noted that he has been in talks with Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship which ministry promised to construct gravel network roads and one tarred road in the constituency.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mphasa Khosi expressed gratitude that their hard work and determination has paid off.
He said they started the electricity scheme in 2018 and were on the verge of giving up.
“Electricity is already available at Thetsane, but due to the growing villages, a lot of people do not afford to electrify their homes. This is why we started the scheme and contributed money so that we can have electricity,” he said.