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14 Mar, 2024 10:14

Sahel nation to provide free water and electricity for households

The Chadian government has also promised to pay bills for citizens who have outstanding debts
Sahel nation to provide free water and electricity for households

Chad has announced that water and electricity will be free until the end of the year, as long as households do not exceed 300 kWh of electricity and 15 cubic meters of water per month, a local news outlet reported on Tuesday. 

The authorities stated on Monday that they would as well settle water and electricity bills for residents who have unpaid bills.

“A system will also be put in place in agreement with the Ministry of Energy and the Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNE) to guarantee the free electricity consumed by households during the same period from March 1, 2024 for all two social tranches or equivalent, a total of 300 kWh per month and per subscribed household, including for subscribers in prepayment of the SNE,” Finance Minister Tahir Hamid Ngulin said.

“The requirements of this circular must be rigorously observed, and any difficulty in their application must be submitted to my attention,” the minister stated. 

Additionally, the authorities announced a 50% decrease in various taxes on passenger transport. This has the potential to lower transportation costs, which increased last month due to rising fuel prices.

The transitional government’s announcement occurred after a month-long energy crisis in Chad, marked by frequent water and electricity supply cuts. The interruptions left many areas of the capital N’Djamena plunged into darkness for weeks.

This initiative comes two months prior to a presidential election scheduled for May 6, 2024. The leader of the military, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, also known as Mahamat Kaka, and Prime Minister Sukkes Masra are candidates for the top post.

Mahamat Kaka became interim president of the military authorities after taking power on April 20, 2021, following the death of his father, Idriss Deby Itno, who had ruled Chad for 30 years.

He made a commitment to give power back to civilian authority after an 18-month transition period, but then increased it by two years.