Zonful Energy has launched the pilot pay-as-you-go solar system in the Mhondoro-Ngezi area as part of efforts to provide cheaper energy to thousands of people living in rural areas who are not connected to the national grid.
BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA
An estimated 8,25 million people in the country live off-grid and depend on paraffin and firewood, while those connected to the national grid typically suffer erratic supplies.
Addressing Mhondoro-Ngezi villagers and other stakeholders on Tuesday, Zonful Energy chief executive officer William Ponelo said the success of the product would determine how it would be expanded to other areas.
“This product is in sync with our vision which states that we want to be the best district to live in by 2019.
“The product is going to give energy to our rural populace. It will provide lights, television, iron and refrigeration,” Ponelo said.
The pilot project is expected to be carried out in over 200 households in Mhondoro-Ngezi.
Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Faber Chidarikire said the overall objective of the project was to contribute to the attainment of sustainable energy goal that aims to ensure universal access to modern energy services in rural areas to improve the well-being of rural people.
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“Energy is the key enabler for the creation and promotion of millions of jobs which will ensure that the visionary growth of the $100 billion economy by 2040 is shared by all at the same time preserving our environment for future generations,” Chidarikire said.
Zonful Energy secured a $4 million soft loan from Kiva International to roll out cheap solar lighting systems to rural communities.