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Ministry almost hits electrification target

…as over 11 000 households see the light

Ntsoaki Motaung

The Ministry of Energy and Meteorology has taken an initiative to light up over 11 000 households this year.

According to the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology Themba Sopeng, although the ministry did not reach its target, they used the money amounting to M115 million to electrify a number of villages in the country mostly in the rural areas.

“The government of Lesotho aims to electrify at least 15, 000 families a year. We had budgeted M150 million for electrification before the encroaching of the Covid-19 pandemic, so the budget was reduced in an endeavour to contribute in the fight against Covid-19,” he said.

Sopeng stated that in the current financial year, the ministry installed electricity to about 11, 500 families in most parts of the country,” He said.    

The District Administrator (DA) of Thaba-Tseka Motete Mokonyane, indicated however, that although they wait in anticipation to be counted among the electrification initiative beneficiaries, so far they have only seen the ministry’s officials in their villages which gives them hope of being remembered as well.

“No villages were electrified this year even though the ministry’s officials visited my office to announce that there are villages to be provided with electricity, promising to issue a roster of villages to benefit. That has not seen the light of the day until now,” he said.

According to the 2021/22 National Budget, the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology, in an effort to increase electricity generation in the country, signed the eight concession agreements with a private company to develop mini grids in rural areas to provide electricity to 6,000 households.

Furthermore, 10 agreements with four private companies were signed to establish energy shops for energy 26 efficiency and solar lanterns in five districts of Mokhotlong, ThabaTseka, Quthing, Qacha’s Nek and Mohale’s Hoek.

The Lesotho Electricity Generation Company (LEGCO) has been established to oversee the construction and the commencement of phase I and phase II of Ramarothole Solar Electricity Generation Facility in Mafeteng which will generate 30MW solar electricity. Furthermore, the implementation agreement was finalised with an Independent Power Producer to start the construction of 20MW solar generation. The Lesotho Renewable Energy and Energy Access Project for off-grid electrification and grid extension to 6 industrial zones (Butha-Buthe Ha-Belo, Maseru Tikoe I and II, Mokhotlong, Berea and Qacha’s Nek) was launched in the third quarter of 2020/21 fiscal year.

The budget had further set for about 1,100 households and 2 schools to be electrified at Belo Industrial Zone in Butha-Buthe district and 16 mini grids to be launched in rural areas in the current fiscal year.

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