The Chief Executive Officer of Cenored, Robert Kahimise said that a lack of funding is hampering the electrification of houses as the cost involved is too expensive. Kahimise expressed that the company is in dire need of sustainable funding for electrification in the Cenored areas which cover the Otjozondjupa region and part of Oshikoto region, as well as Omaheke and Kunene regions.
The CEO made this revelation during consultations with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources last week. The committee was briefed on the regional electrification and challenges of the region in the areas of electricity connectivity. Kahimise noted that although the electricity company’s goal is to expand its services, the realistic approach would be that connectivity be predominately funded by the government.
“It is an expensive exercise. It is costly to connect the unconnected,”Kahimise said.
He further noted that connecting every household would be a great achievement for the company as it strives to connect everyone. He however expressed that some Municipalities, Village councils, and Settlements are not ready for electrification.
Some of the challenges he outlined included material theft (copper), vandalizing electricity infrastructure, peri-urban growing fast, Tsumkwe fuel cost and the acceleration take-over of Osona village.
The committee has been conducting consultative meetings with different stakeholders falling under its mandate.
In addition, Otjozondjupa Governor James Uerikua on his part submitted that electricity is no longer a necessity but a need for all communities and the country at large. He has since called on Cenored to speed up its processes, as many communities in dire need of electricity continue to suffer.
“This cannot be tolerated any longer. While I acknowlegdge the shortcomings, all stakeholders must find a way to do more with little, as this is the call by President Hage Geingob,” Uerika said.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly standing committee on natural resources Chairperson Kletus Karondo, noted that all these shortcomings need to be addressed amicably with all relevant stakeholders in order for Cenored to fully carry out the mandates of government which are to provide electricity for the community of whom many have been without electricity for years.
Lamenting that as a committee, they will ensure that these concerns are brought to the attention of the National Assembly, while also stressing that if the current modalities being used are expensive, Cenored ought to look at interventions that are less costly but of quality.
Kahimise said the company has a customer base of approximately 34 000 customers in its main supply area. This is in addition to some 3 300 in the Omaheke region and 6 400 in Okahandja, ranging from large power users to single-phase prepayment clients over an area of approximately 120 000 square kilometers and 8 000 kilometer’s line infrastructure.