DEPUTY Prime Minister and Energy Minister Dr Dotto Biteko has instructed the executives of the Rural Electricity Agency (REA) to focus on working in rural areas rather than investing more time in the city.

Dr Biteko made the instructions after he turned on electricity in Ihako village in Katome County in Bukombe district in Geita region as part of the REA Phase Three project.

He said REA should focus on rural areas as they assess, manage and implement electricity projects to identify and address existing challenges and improve the country's electricity services.

"You are a rural electricity agency, not an urban electricity agency, let us see you have citizens, see your cars pass by the people, the ordinary people, go there."

"Learn their language, know their problem, right now we want the energy to cook, the people who are struggling with cooking energy are largely these low-income people, these are the ones we deal with."

He promised the government plans to deliver electricity to all Tanzanians without discriminating against the value of their homes, and urged Tanzanians to continue to endure as his ministry deals with the problem of electricity rationing.

REA Director-General, Engineer Hassan Saidy said Ihako village is one of 127 villages in Geita that will be powered by electricity, part of the 4,071 villages in the project nationwide.

This financial year they have allocated Sh21 billion to implement the second phase B project, deliver electricity to 137 areas and also start delivering electricity to 105 neighbourhoods.

In REA Phase 2, 740,12 villages have already been connected to electricity and work is underway to complete electricity to all 318,<> villages in mainland Tanzania.

Bukombe District Council Executive Director Lutengani Mwalwiba said turning on electricity in Ihako County would improve the performance of government activities in schools and public offices.

"Teachers had to travel a greater distance than 25 kilometers to Ushirombo to be able to work, but if electricity came these jobs are going to be done more easily."

The chairman of Ihako village in Katome County, Nzalia Masayi, said his village has about 500 residents who will benefit from electricity from four neighborhoods, and 60 households have been connected to electricity.