by Staff Writers
Dodoma, Tanzania (UPI) Aug 16, 2012
Tanzania's government has made it a high priority to end electricity shortages in the capital Dar es Salaam.
Tanzanian Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals Stephen Masele said the ministry, in conjunction with the Tanzania Electric Supply Co. Ltd., has developed a master plan for Dar es Salaam to rehabilitate and improve the city's electricity infrastructure.
Power shortages are constraining the country's development. National Bureau of Statistics stated that from January-March this year Tanzania's economy grew 7.1 percent compared to the rate in the first three months of 2011.
"The generation of electricity and mineral production registered a high increase in the economy compared to the similar quarter of 2011," the National Bureau of Statistics said in a statement.
The bureau said the country's mineralogical sector was particularly robust as its mining and quarrying activity expanded by 14.3 percent from 0.8 in 2011, due to in the production of gold and diamonds. Diamond output in January-March 2012 increased to 57,330 carats from 10,472 carats from the same period in 2011, while gold output more than doubled in the same period to about 37,000 pounds.
Aside from the electrical shortages in the capital, energy shortages are limiting increasing mining production as well.
In response to questions in Parliament, Masele said a number of projects were under way to increase electricity in Dar es Salaam.
These include a Finnish-Tanzanian $32.5 million project focusing on the city center, Sokoine and Kariakoo; a $7.6 million African Development Bank initiative to rehabilitate electricity transformers in Sokoine and Ilala and the Tanzania Energy Development Access Project, underwritten by the World Bank with $15.6 million to connect 10 new transformers in Chang'ombe and Kariakoo, six transformers in the city center, Factory I and II, Mburahati, Mikocheni and Oysterbay areas.
Masele added that the government is investing $584,000 million in the projects.
"All these projects that are in various stages of implementation across the city of Dar es Salaam are set to be finished this financial year and will address the issue of power cuts in the city," he said.
Aside from the efforts to increase electrical power generation, Tanzanian authorities are targeting those stealing electricity and power supplies.
Masele said: "It is true that some people steal fuel from transformers although some are due to technical faults. We call upon the public to report anyone stealing transformer fuel, Tanzania Electric Supply Co., Ltd., cannot have a guard at every transformer center."
Tanesco Communications manager Badra Masoud said that the firm was also going after those who stole electricity. He said that, after a two-week amnesty, the power utility firm would embark on a rigorous campaign to identify and make accountable all illegal power users.
"We'll ensure that we recover the loss caused by people who used Tanesco electricity illegally," Masoud said.
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