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African Development Bank electrifies 50 000 informal settlement households

The African Development Bank will fund the electrification of 50 000 households in Windhoek’s informal settlements at a cost of US$485 000.

According to a statement from the bank issued last week, the financial institution’s Urban and Municipal Development Fund (UMDF) had approved a grant for a solar electricity project to power houses in the country.

The statement said the Informal Settlement Renewable Electrification and Upgrading Programme will directly benefit around 200 000 people in Windhoek, where around 20% of the population does not have electricity.

The UMDF helps governments to invest in sustainable urban development for more climate resilient, liveable and productive cities, underpinning national socio-economic development and poverty reduction, said the bank.

In Windhoek, one consequence of rapid and uncontrolled urbanisation is the rise in informal settlements, characterised by non-electrified neighbourhoods and underdeveloped economic activity, severely hindering the quality of life for residents.

The Windhoek Municipal Council requested the fund’s support to upgrade services in its informal neighbourhoods, a key priority under its strategic plan.

Installing electricity in informal settlements is considered a crucial investment to unlock the economic potential of these areas and substantially improve the living condition of the inhabitants.

The project is expected to take off this year with the preparation of a feasibility study and tender documents covering the installation of 60 MW Solar PV and related batteries; the development of an overall structural plan for the rehabilitation of the informal settlements; and institutional support to the Windhoek Municipal Council.
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