300,000 households still without electricity – Official
Namibia’s overall electrification rate is estimated to be about 50%, meaning about 300,000 households are still unelectrified, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Executive Director Simeon Negumbo said on the occasion of the Electrification day on Tuesday
“We estimate that between 70 to 80% of our rural households do not have the kind of access brought to you today. This is a great number of people that do not have the means to hit a switch and have lights on so their children can study at night or cook using modern stoves or preserve their food and drinks in a refrigerator or run a barber shop or salon that requires electricity to make money and support their families,” he said.
Negumbo said it might seem to have been a very long time to reach the desired electrification rate but taking the limited resources and the competing needs for rural electrification into consideration, every little milestone counts as an achievement.
“Today’s event signifies the beginning of another milestone where the electricity supply industry stakeholders, our development partners, and local and international financing institutions get together to deliberate on the possible solutions to our electrification challenge,” he added.
According to Negumbo, electrification is a national challenge. and one which the government through the Ministry of Mines and Energy is committed to taking on.
“To this end, the Harambee Prosperity Plan has set targets to put the framework in place to speed up the rate of electrification. In line with government goals, the MME has set a target to have all the households in Namibia electrified by 2040 or what we in the industry call universal access,” he added
Meanwhile, Negumbo said achieving universal access is easier said than done and called for more coordination and involvement from all stakeholders (commercial banks, development partners, development financial institutions, and local and international financing institutions).
“It’s only through concerted efforts and dedication from all the stakeholders that we will reach this target of ours and maintain our infrastructure for the benefit of all,” he said.
Negumbo applauded the Green People’s Energy project of the GIZ for putting the conference together at a time when this topic is so important given that Namibia’s energy sector is at its inflection point.