EU and JUMEME inaugurate new solar-powered mini-grid in Kagera Region

By Maureen Maingi

UMAME Rural Power Supply Ltd. (JUMEME), in conjunction with the European Union Delegation in Tanzania, celebrated the launch of its newly constructed solar-powered mini-grid. The mini-grid is located on Lake Victoria, Mulumo island in the region of Kagera, and is one of 11 mini-grids to be commissioned across 10 different islands on Lake Victoria in June 2019. This first mini-grid marks the first implementation of the “Micro Power Economy, Tanzania Roll-out" which was cofounded by the EU. 

The Ukerewe District Commissioner, Mr. Cornel Magembe was present, as well as a representative of the European Union Delegation in Tanzania and officials from the Ministry of Energy, Rural Energy Agency, Energy and Water Utilities Authority and the local government authorities. He stated that "the government of Tanzania is at the forefront of supporting rural electrification” through  partners such as JUMEME. 

In the last 12 months, JUMEME has constructed more than 180km of low and medium voltage distribution grids, powering 20 villages with a total population of more than 80,000 people and providing 24/7 electricity services based on solar-hybrid power systems.

Ukerewe had witnessed  JUMEME’s work in District of Ukerewe and said “The citizens have embraced electricity and this has brought about a lot of positive change in their lives; the local health center has grown into a better facility with greater capacity; there is clean [ drinking ] water available; and a lot of business opportunities have arisen (...), in line with the government’s initiative of industrializing Tanzania."

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JUMEME has the goal of building and operating solar-hybrid mini-grids in remote settlements of tanzania, with a total budget of TZS41.1bn. The project is co-funded by the EU Energy Facility for a total amount of 7.4 Million Euros TZS19bn. The Rural Energy Agency (REA) has also provided grant funding.

Through his representative, Mr. Francis Songela, the EU Head of Development Cooperation, Mr. José Correia Nunes, said that ''access to energy is a critical element to empower people, especially women and youth. Ensuring affordable, reliable clean and modern energy is a key area of European Union engagement with the Tanzanian government and the private sector. 

Sustainable energy, especially in rural areas, is central to addressing the challenge of poverty reduction and ensuring inclusive, equitable and climate friendly economic growth."

 

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