- JUMEME Rural Power Supply (JUMEME), the European Union Delegation in Tanzania, and its project partners have celebrated the launch of the newly constructed solar-powered mini-grid on Lake Victoria, Mulumo island in the region of Kagera.
- The facility in Mulumo is one of eleven mini-grids to be commissioned on 10 different islands on Lake Victoria in June 2019, constituting the first roll-out phase of the ‘Micro Power Economy, Tanzania Roll-out’ project co-funded by the European Union.
Over the last 12 months, JUMEME has constructed more than 180km of low and medium voltage distribution grids, electrifying 20 villages with a total population of more than 80,000 people and providing 24/7 electricity services based on solar-hybrid power systems to residential houses, schools, hospitals, businesses and local entrepreneurs.
The Ukerewe District Commissioner, Cornel Magembe, honoured the occasion with his presence, along with a representative of the European Union Delegation in Tanzania and officials from the Ministry of Energy, Rural Energy Agency, Energy and Water Utilities Authority and the local government authorities.
Magembe said: “The government of Tanzania is at the forefront of supporting rural electrification” via partners such as JUMEME.
Having witnessed JUMEME’s work in his District of Ukerewe, he confirmed that: “The citizens have embraced electricity and this has brought about a lot of positive change in their lives; the local health center has grown into a better facility with greater capacity; there is clean [ drinking ] water available; and a lot of business opportunities have arisen , in line with the government’s initiative of industrialising Tanzania.”
Through his representative, Francis Songela, the EU Head of Development Cooperation, José Correia Nunes, said: “Access to energy is a critical element to empower people, especially women and youth. Ensuring affordable, reliable clean and modern energy is a key area of European Union engagement with the Tanzanian government and the private sector.
“Sustainable energy, especially in rural areas, is central to addressing the challenge of poverty reduction and ensuring inclusive, equitable and climate-friendly economic growth.” JUMEME aims at building and operating solar-hybrid mini-grids in remote settlements of Tanzania with a total budget of 16 million Euros (TZS 41.1 billion).
The project is co-funded by the European Union Energy Facility for a total amount of 7.4 Million Euros (TZS 19 billion). The Rural Energy Agency (REA), through its result-based financing scheme, has also provided grant funding to the project, whereas the shareholders of JUMEME have contributed with equity.
“JUMEME and its partners are doing a great job in providing electricity to rural villages; we at REA applaud the effort especially having experienced the challenging logistics JUMEME’s team undergoes in these project areas. The unique business model of Productive Use applied by JUMEME is an initiative supported by REA 100% due to its ability of improving the rural economies, as opposed to providing electricity for lighting purposes only,” said Advera Mwijage, vice director of marketing development and technologies at REA
Having run a pilot system on Ukara island since 2016, JUMEME will now operate the 11 additional mini-grids spread across Lake Victoria on the islands of Goziba, Kerebe, Kasenyi, Mulumo, Rukuba, Kibumba, Maisome, Mahaiga, and Irugwa.
In parallel to the first roll-out phase, the construction of an additional 11 mini-grids, located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, is underway.
These additional mini-grids are also co-financed by the European Union and will be finalised at the beginning of 2020, making JUMEME the energy service provider to more than 170,000 people.
Author: Ashley Theron
This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.