By Dominic Sikopo
MINISTER of Mines and Energy, Mr. Isak Katali has launched an Energy Shop in the town of Katima Mulilo this month , that will supply solar energy and Solar Revolving Fund to rural residents.
The Shop launch is an initiative between the Ministry of Mines and Energy and Caprivi Cash and Carry to provide solar energy needs to the town and the region at large.
“Solar energy is an eye-opener as it can be used in villages, homes and it is easy to use and it saves energy”. Said the Caprivi Regional Governor, Hon. Lawrence Sampofu in his introductory speech.
Minister Katali, who officiated the launch explained that Caprivi region was one of the most remote areas from the capital and because of this, the region has been disadvantaged in terms of rural electrification.
He promised that funding for projects such as rural electrification is available but that it is not used for it`s intended purposes, “The money is available but it either goes back to treasury or it is diverted to other regions”.
Mr. Katali went on saying that a number of clinics, schools and government institutions in the region have been provided with electricity due to the Ministry`s efforts.
“I am happy to announce that three more schools have been added to the budget due to the forward thinking of the Ministry and the Caprivi Regional Council”, he added.
The Caprivi region is easy to be provided with electricity because people live close together though he revealed that despite the achievements made by his Ministry and the Caprivi Regional Council, there have been some mistakes which were committed as some regions have more rural electrification than others and Caprivi was behind in receiving rural electrification because it has many remote areas.
Mines and Energy Minister divulged that a Solar Revolving Fund was available to pay for solar equipment and Professional Technicians who would be responsible with installations and maintainance of those equipment.
“The revolving fund also refers to people borrowing and repaying the money for solar energy purposes and needs”, narrated the Minister.
He added further that the fund has an interest rate of five percent which is minimal. CVNEWS also approached the Manager of Caprivi Cash and Carry Mr. Haysem. M. Ahmed who was at the event on behalf of his brother and owner of Caprivi Cash and Carry Mr. Hisham.M. Ahmed to find out how the project was started and he had this to say “We were approached by Officials from the Mines and Energy Ministry after they did inspections around shops in town and villages and concluded that Caprivi Cash and Carry was best suited and ideal as we have already been selling Solar energy equipment and people from villages are familiar with our store”, he explained.
The Minister concluded by thanking the Manager of Caprivi Cash and Carry Mr. Ahmed for engaging in the project and explained that the store(Caprivi Cash and Cash) will be the centre where people can get and apply for solar energy and solar energy equipment.
Witnessing the event were Hon. Bernard Sibalatani ,Member of the National Council who is the Councillor for Katima Urban Constituency and Kabbe Constituency Councillor and Chairperson of Caprivi Regional Council Hon. Raphael Mbala.
Caption: (From left are Kabbe Constituency Councilor and Chairperson of Caprivi Regional Council Hon. Raphael Mbala, Mines and Energy Minister Rgt Hon. Isak Katali, Caprivi Governor Hon. Lawrence Sampofu, Caprivi Cash & Carry Manager Mr. Haysem.M.Ahmed and Member of the National Council and Katima Urban Councilor Hon. Bernard Sibalatani after inagurating the official launch of the solar energy.)