M824 MILLION FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

The Minister of Finance, Dr Moeketsi Majoro and World Bank Country Director, Ms Marie-Francois Marie-Nelly signed the loan agreement for financing Renewable Energy and Energy Access project amounting to M824 Million at the ceremony held Maseru.

Dr Majoro singed on behalf of the on behalf of the Lesotho Government while Ms Marie-Nelly singed on behalf of the World Bank.

Speaking at the press conference, Dr Majoro expressed gratitude to the World Bank for the fund, saying the objective of this project is to increase access to electricity in rural and peri-urban areas of Lesotho.

He said this will give Basotho opportunities to start their own hydro power plant to generate electricity so that the country does not depend on other countries for electricity.

He disclosed that beneficiaries of the project are communities in Qacha- Neck, Mokhotlong, Ha Belo in Butha-Buthe and Teya-Tenyaneng.

The World Bank Country Director, Ms Marie-Francois Marie-Nelly said the loan is to increase the accessibility of energy in urban area, noting that this will help in social and economic development.

Also speaking, the Minister of Energy and Meteorology, Dr Ntoi Rapapa thanked the World Bank for the funding, promising to work tirelessly to ensure that this project will be successful.

Dr Rapapa said this project will reduce pressure from his ministry because it will provide Basotho with electricity.

The project which aims to increase electricity in rural and peri-ubarn areas entails thee components which are; Grid Extension to Peri-urban areas of Lesotho, Rural Electrification by mini grinds and Techinical Assistant and Implementation Support.

The Grid Extension to Peri-urban areas will connect six large industrial sites, which will accommodate approximately 252 companies. Rural Electrification by mini grinds will support the electrification of areas where electricity supply through mini grids is found to present a low cost for the country through Electrification Master Plan and geospatial analysis while the Technical Assistant and Implementation Support will focus solely on assessing the barriers a graduate would face in reaching the labour market.

Source: Staff Reporters: Maphoka Likotsi and Noliwe Velaphe

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