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The project consists of the construction of an 85km, 132kV monopole line between Alaska 330kV/132kV substation and a new 132/33kV substation at Karoi. The reticulation network within the Makonde and Hurungwe district will also be refurbished to ensure improved efficiency and connectivity. Community service activities such as the provision of electrical connections and infrastructure to local schools and clinics as well as the drilling of boreholes and the provision of pumps to ensure improved health services have been included in the scope based on the request raised during stakeholder engagements. Included in the project scope is the development of a 25 year least cost network masterplan, as well as the completion of Environmental & Social Impact Studies for future pipeline projects identified as part of the Zimbabwe Interim Country Strategy Paper, 2016 to 2019.
ZETDC has accumulated a loss of US$516 million (2014: US$438 million). This has constrained the utility's cash flows resulting in its failure to fully meet day to day operations and payments to creditors. Poor credit worthiness makes it difficult to attract competitively priced commercial debt. Therefore the Banks involvement in supporting this project, which is also prioritized by the Government, is warranted.
The Bank's intervention is further justified as the project is consistent with the Banks' Ten Year Strategy (2013-2022), the Bank's new "High 5s" and it's Energy Sector Policy. It is aligned to two of the five TYS operational areas, infrastructure development and private sector development. The project will also contribute to the achievement of three of the five "High-5s" objectives; light up and power Africa; industrialize Africa (making electrical power available for the creation of small and medium-sized industries); and improve the quality of life of Africans. The project drives inclusive growth by facilitating the connection of new loads (demand) centres to the network. This will not only create jobs during the construction of the line and the associated substations, but will also attract further industrialization and private sector development within the specific areas. Opportunities will also be realized for more efficient farming through the deployment of farming techniques incorporating electricity.
Electricity supply within the town of Karoi, Makonde and Hurungwe districts is plagued with long duration outages and poor quality of supply. Large numbers of commercial, small agricultural and domestic customers remain without electricity supply due to lack of available network capacity. The reticulation network in these districts are also in need of refurbishment and maintenance resulting in high network losses. The transmission line construction project component will result in the reduction of technical losses and forced outages and will enable ZETDC to connect new customers within the project area and improve on service delivery. As part of the social upliftment component power will also be provided to an old age home, a hospital and orphanage.
The project's zone of influence, which entails Makonde and Hurungwe Districts and Karoi town, has a combined population of 511,343 people (2012 census). The male to female ratio is 49.9: 51.1 in Makonde and Hurungwe districts. About 7% of the female population is widowed while 25.7% is orphaned.
The project will benefit local communities in Karoi town and Makonde and Hurungwe districts. The targeted beneficiaries will include people living, working and/ or residing in residential homes; large industries; small, medium, and micro enterprises; educational and health facilities; and socio-cultural centres. The beneficiaries will cover a wide spectrum of the population, including the elderly, the youth, marginalized groups and disabled groups. In total 9 health clinics, 1 hospital, an old age home, 1 children home, 18 schools and 38 villages will benefit directly and indirectly through the project.
One of the benefits cited by communities during public consultations is the need for the project to reduce poverty as most people are unemployed and their household incomes are based on agricultural activities. Hurungwe District has an average poverty prevalence of 87.9% (ZIMSTAT/UNICEF, 2015) which is one of the highest in the country. The project will reduce poverty prevalence by stimulating economic activities such as;
(i) Irrigation of horticulture,
(ii) agricultural activities;
(iii) local industry;
(iv) commercial services &
It is expected that an additional 5000 customers will be connected and the electrification rate in the area will increase from 15% to 23% as a direct result of the project. The main benefits of the electrification of the area are reduction in deforestation, improvement in access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation, a total of 150 transformers supplying water supply points, clinics, schools and irrigation points which have failed will be replaced, improving access to water and sanitation to 107 000 people.
The social upliftment component of the project will in particular facilitate access to safer drinking water for 32 650 people currently accessing water from unprotected wells, dams, rivers and streams.
HARMSE Liezl Cecilia - RDGS1