The World Bank has approved 26.5 million International Development Association, IDA credit, to increase electricity access in 36 rural areas in nine provinces of Zambia.
Eastern Province is among those to benefit.
Other provinces are Central, Copperbelt, Luapula, Muchinga, Northern, Southern and Western.
The Electricity Service Access Project will provide connections to the national grid for about 22,000 low-income households and about 1,000 Medium Scale Entrepreneurs MSEs in the selected rural areas.
World Bank Country Manager for Zambia, Ina Ruthenberg, says the majority of the beneficiaries will receive electricity services for the first time.
She says access to electricity in rural areas is important, because it helps replace consumption of paraffin, diesel, dry cell batteries, and alternative fuels such as firewood that contributes to deforestation.
And World Bank Senior Energy Specialist, Joseph Kapika, says the project supports the government’s priority of increasing electricity access in rural areas.
He says this is aligned with two of the strategies that relate to energy in the recently launched Seventh National Development Plan for 2017 to 2021, which are “Promotion of renewable and alternative energy” and “Improved access to Rural and Peri-Urban areas”.