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Zambia's rural communities to benefit from solar

Zambia's rural communities to benefit from solar.

Zambia's Rural Electrification Authority (REA) plans to spend $770, 000 next year for projects aimed at connecting four districts to solar energy.

REA said during the unveiling of the 2015 connectivity programme that four districts of the country will be connected to solar energy next year due to the unavailability of power from the national grid.

The project, funded by the World Bank under its Sustainable Solar Market Packages (SSMP), is aimed at connecting rural areas of the country - including public institutions - with solar energy in order to encourage productivity.

The solar power connectivity contracts have been awarded to Uganda-based Trans-Africa Supply Services limited and China's Kantech International (Jiangxi).

Speaking at a signing of the contracts in Lusaka, REA chief executive officer Geoffrey Musonda said the project will connect 165 public and social institutions in the four districts namely Zambezi, Lundazi, Mwinilunga and Chama.

He said over the years, only 2% of Zambia's rural population had access to electricity, but with the Zambian government and multinational funded projects under REA, the accessibility has increased to an average of 5%.

"The SSMP programme involves electrification of public and private institutions through procuring, installation, commissioning and provision of maintenance services for solar systems for five-year period," Musonda said.

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