By Richard Muponde
THE Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has come up with a master plan for the electrification of rural areas guided by a geographic information system (GIS) to avoid wasting resources.
The master plan will capture the activities and economics of the areas to be electrified and help decide the model of power to be set up to improve the lives of the rural folk.
GIS is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking and displaying data related to positions on earth’s surface. By relating seemingly unrelated data, GIS can help individuals and organisations better understand spatial patterns and relationships.
This was revealed by REA’s spokesperson Johannes Nyamayedenga yesterday during a tour of the parastatal’s stand at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), where the agency is exhibiting.
“This master plan is the first of its kind in the country, as it captures the partial patent and relationships of the area where we want to electrify. It also depicts the economics of the areas so that we know what kind of power to put there,” Nyamayedenga said.
“For instance, if an area is far away from the power grid and there’s an economic activity in-between, it is not wise to drag kV cable all the way, but to solar-power the project,” said Nyamayedenga.
The master plan can also be accessed by other organisations seeking to engage in activities around communities in the country.
“It is a master plan for the whole country, where we have captured and stored the information up to ward level. This can help organisations or companies which want to understand the spatial patterns and relationship of areas for economic activities around the country. The master plan can be accessed from our offices and we are ready to share the information,” he said.
The agency’s main focus is to spearhead rapid and equitable electrification of rural areas in Zimbabwe. To date, the rural electrification programme has enabled the electrification of thousands of rural institutions, farms, villages, boreholes, dam points and irrigation schemes.