Thursday, January 20, 2011

Me and Google no. 1

I got this crazy to Google myself and see what information  about me is on the internet. Apart from the facebook, twitter and linkedin posts and responses, I found some pretty interesting articles. Some of these occurred many years ago, and I had forgotten about them. Reading them brought back some fond memories.

The following article is the first which I will be posting under "Me and Google" :

Electrification of Maize Triangle – Way ahead of schedule

The third and final phase of the electrification of the Maize Triangle is expected to be completed in May this year – a year ahead of the scheduled time.
The construction of phase two and three is running concurrently and hence the reason why phase three will be completed earlier than planned. Both phases are being constructed to the tune of N$39 million. The total line length for phase two and three is approximately 1100 km.
NamPower started the three-phase project in 2002, with the aim to electrify farmlands in the Tsumeb, Grootfontein and Otavi area and to encourage economic activity in that area, especially in the field of horticulture.
One determining factor was that the agricultural belt supply 20-thousand tonnes of raw cotton required by the textile factory, Ramatex, established in 2002 on the outskirts of Windhoek near Otjomuise. The growing of cotton is a labour intensive industry dependent on reliable and affordable supply of electricity to meet the annual quota of cotton. The Maize Triangle is also known for its ample underground sources of water and fertile soil.

Another major reason for this project is the construction of a 33 kV backbone network in areas where electricity is not available, as Hylton Ferreira the Manager of Electrification explains.
“Those farms which did not benefit from the subsidised project can benefit in future on commercial terms. What is important though is that they are now closer to the national electricity grid. Many farms are now situated 5 to 10 kilometres from electricity.”

Many, if not all farmers in the Maize Triangle were happy at the prospect of having electricity at their farms. But, as the project progressed, the happiness faded for some farmers when they realised that they will not benefit directly from the subsidised project.
“We had extremely happy and extremely unhappy farmers,” says Hylton.

“Some however, accepted that NamPower’s goal was to build strategic backbone networks to benefit their respective areas, if not them directly.”
The second phase of the electrification of the Maize Triangle covered 108 farms north of Tsumeb and Grootfontein up to Oshivelo and Morurani in the Oshikoto region. Phase three covers a vast area of at least 320 farms, of which 90 farms will benefit from the subsidised scheme. This phase covers an extremely large area made up of farms south of Grootfontein, south and west of Otavi, and north of Otjiwarongo and Waterberg.

Hylton has nothing but praise for the project. “All in all, I feel that this was money well spent in terms of developing the region and uplifting the socio-economic standard of people in these areas. Another good thing is that all farmers who benefited have to provide their employees with electricity, which in turn will also improve their living standard.”
The project covered established commercial farmers as well as upcoming commercial farmers. In total, the NamPower Board of Directors approved an amount of N$55 million dollars for the electrification of the Maize Triangle and surrounding areas.

Phase 3 farmers Ecstatic
Farmers benefiting from the third phase of the project are ecstatic that the project will be completed a year in advance. Some of them shared their excitement with Watts On:

The Maize Triangle Electrification project was one of most rewarding that I have managed.

Read comments from ecstatic customers at: 

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