The Arusha Times

Issue 00540

October 18- 24, 2008

issn 0856 - 9135 

Local News

Tanesco to extend grid power to Ngorongoro

By Arusha Times Correspondent

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) experts have objected to distribution of power in the area using electricity poles and overhead cables as is the practice elsewhere.

Power cables to supply electricity to Ngorongoro Conservation Area will therefore be laid underground.

Mr. Boniface S. Njombe, Tanesco regional manager in Arusha said implementation of the project to supply power to Ngorongoro will kick off soon.

"Tenders have been announced and it is NCAA who will supervise the project," he said in an interview, declining to say how much the project would cost.

NCAA officials have objected to the use of power poles in the area because it would impact on the ecology and disturb animals.

Mr. Njombe said electricity to NCA would be supplied to the Authority head offices on the rim of the famous crater, tourist lodges and few settlements.

The 8,272 square kilometre NCA was established in 1959 as a multi-use land area for conservation, tourism and pastoralism.

Only minimum agriculture is allowed and no more immigrants are allowed to settle permanently in an area which currently boosts of 60,000 people.

However, the power for NCAA from the national electricity grid would not extend to Loliondo, the Ngorongoro district headquarters which is some 200 km away from the crater.

According to Mr. Njombe, Tanesco would purchase a large diesel generator to supply power to Loliondo township.

He added that Loliondo is one of the few district headquarters without electricity and is among those earmarked for electrification.

The official explained that Namanga border town will be supplied with power from Kenya national power grid in the next one and a half months.

Electricity from the neighbouring country would be extended to Longido district headquarters and some villages and training institutions close to the two towns.

President Jakaya Kikwete announced when he visited the area early last year that it was cheaper for Namanga and Longido to be supplied with electricity from Kenya than from Arusha, some 120 km away.

The border town is the main border post between Tanzania and Kenya and generates a lot of revenue for the government in form of custom duties for imported goods and other forms of taxation to businesses springing up there.

Until last year it was estimated that the government will spend Sh.700million to connect Namanga and Longido with electricity from Kenya.

The Kenyan side of Namanga township is already getting power from that country's national grid.

Several regions and districts in Tanzania Mainland are supplied with electricity from neighbouring countries because of high costs of connecting to the national grid.

These include Kagera region which is getting power from Uganda, Rukwa region supplied from Mbala town in Zambia and Tunduma which is getting electricity also from Zambia.




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