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Solar power eases blackout for conflict-hit towns in Cabo Delgado

The district towns of Nangade and Mueda are now benefiting from solar power, after months without connection to the national grid

The Mozambican authorities are assembling solar panels in the Cabo Delgado district capitals of Nangade and Mueda, as an alternative energy supply for the towns that, together with Palma and Mocimboa da Praia, have been without electricity from the national grid since August, when terrorists sabotaged the electrical substation in Awasse.

In Nangade, according to a local resident, the solar panels are expected to supply electricity  to the local health centre, the district secretariat, the buildings of the local education services, and the district command of the national police force.

The work, which started on 5 December, is being undertaken by the National Energy Fund, Funae. Zitamar News contacted the fund, but it was unable to give more details.

Mozambique’s state power utility EDM has tried numerous times to fix the substation at Awasse, but without success, due to insurgent activity. One EDM technician has been killed in the attempt to repair the Awasse substation, a local public official told Zitamar — though EDM’s head of communications, Moises Mabunda, said the company was not aware of this. Awasse is a strategic crossroads on the road between Mueda and the town of Mocimboa da Praia, which is under insurgent control.

The security situation in Nangade is still  uncertain. The district prosecutor, judge, administrator and other local civil servants have fled to other districts.

Traffic along the 100 km road linking Palma-Nangade has been interrupted since Tuesday morning after insurgents attacked a car carrying goods to Palma. According to a source living in Nangade, the attack took place at the administrative post of Pundanhar, Palma district, forcing other vehicles to return to Nangade and Mueda. Details on the damage caused are still lacking.

This article was produced by Zitamar and Mediafax under the Cabo Ligado project, in collaboration with ACLED and with support from Crisis Group. The contents of the article are the sole responsibility of Zitamar News.