THE United Nations Development Programmes by 2024 (UNDP) has pledged to provide electricity to 500 rural households through its Viability Gap Funding.
Launching the US$1,5 million project in Bulawayo last week, UNDP representative Jeremiah Mushosho said: “At least 500 off-grid households and institutions should be electrified by the end of 2024. In 2022, our target is to have two solar mini grids which will at least cover 150 households. In 2023 we are also going to cover another 150 households and we will finish off with 200 households in 2024.”
Mushosho said the project had several advantages, which would benefit a lot of people in remote areas.
“It will reduce poverty in the sense that the interventions will help to generate additional income. There will be zero hunger, hence energy services can improve access to pumped drinking water,” he said.
The UNDP official said rural electrification would improve the health and wellbeing of individuals because energy is a key component of a functioning health system, for example, lighting health centres and refrigeration at clinics, as well as improved quality of education as students will be able to study in the evenings. *Newsday*