KATIMA MULILO - The government’s rural electrification programme has reached Nankuntwe Combined School and Namiyundu Primary School in the floodplains of Kabbe North and Kabbe South constituencies of the Zambezi region.
The programme is part of the government’s economic development policy to expand the electricity supply infrastructure to Namibia’s most remote areas.
The extension of the programme is said to have cost about N$5 million and was implemented through the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
Nankuntwe Combined School’s lights were switched on last Thursday to the delight of the learners, staff and the community at large.
Kabbe South constituency councillor John Likando urged the school management as well as the community members to support the government’s initiative by ensuring that the infrastructure is well taken care of.
He said the project aims to reach all schools, and asked for patience with the remaining schools in his constituency as they would be up next.
The principal of the school, Gift Sikundeko, said it was indeed a great moment for the learners as they will now get the opportunity to study in the evening if they need to.
We have a lot of gadgets, computers, and printers that were not in use. But as of today, we will begin to use these items, he added.
“We use to struggle and cross rivers just to go and make copies in Katima Mulilo, and spent money on transport on this rough road as it was never an easy trip. Now that we can connect our printers, long distances for printing will be a thing of the past”,” he said.
Sikundeko further stated that teachers will also now be able to do their lesson plans as this too was difficult to do without electricity.
Meanwhile, learners at Namiyundu Primary School found in Kabbe North’s floodplains were also beaming when the lights were switched on at their school on Thursday morning.
Constituency councillor Bernard Sisamu was delighted to witness the last school in his constituency benefitting from the government’s rural electrification programme.
“This project started in 2022, and I am happy that it has been energised to the main grid. Electricity is very important, and we thank the government for its effort in ensuring that all schools have electricity.
“This will enable learners to do their studies at night, as well as teachers who will be able to do their preparations,” said Sisamu.
Cor Syfert, a director in charge of electrical works from Windhoek Consulting Engineers, who worked on the project, said had it not been for the early rains last year, the project would have been completed earlier. But they still managed to push through as soon as the rain had stopped to ensure its completion, just as schools reopened this year.
“We were all working as a team, including members of the community, who had to safeguard our infrastructure, said Syfert.
As a token of appreciation, the company donated stationaries to both schools to assist the learners and parents who played a role in this project.