By Silindzelwe Nxumalo
Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini visited some of the rural electrification beneficiaries from the Network Reinforcement and Access Project (NAP) in the Shiselweni region funded through a loan from the World Bank.
The Prime Minister, together with Minister for Finance Neal Rijkernberg and Acting Minister for Natural Resources and Energy Jabulani Mabuza, also visited water projects in the south supported by the World Bank.
The PM mentioned that these were big projects for the country which the government of Eswatini was doing in collaboration with different funders.
He stated that these projects were directly benefiting the nation as the water and electricity would help the region large.
“It’s a good thing that we started this tour so early in the morning and we were able to see all the sites which included visiting a home in Hlathikhulu which had electricity connected to a house made of stick and mud,” he said.
The PM mentioned that it was a good sign that even those who do not afford to bring electricity to their homes could now do so through these projects.
“These two projects are quite helpful to the nation. The water project cost E900 million which is almost a billion and the one for electricity is worth E810 million (US$45 million),” he said.
Dlamini mentioned that the rural electrification project was there to ensure that rural areas had electricity, especially those homes that wouldn’t be able to afford this service.
“Hearing the testimonies from the benefited emaSwati warms our hearts and it makes us happy to know that there is life in the rural areas,” he said.
He added that once the project is done in the Shiselweni region it would be moved to the Lubombo region where a lot of homes will get electricity connections.
“The water project is also big as it starts from Mahamba (Mbukwane) through Nhlangano straight to Lavumisa. Through this project, water is being purified and no home is left behind,” he explained.
He stated that he met the water committee for the project and revealed that they represented four chiefdoms and that there were a lot of people that had benefited from this project.
“We were able to get to know that the water that gets to the people is also purified to ensure that the people only drink clean water,” he said.
He further thanked the project leaders for these initiatives and their contribution to the development and improvement of the nation.
“Do not be discouraged. We also urge the communities to look after these projects together with their tools to ensure that nothing is damaged. Thank you world bank for this impeccable contribution to both projects,” he said.