Television and radio, X-rays, the airplane, and movie pictures — electricity has made possible all these and many other wonders. Some of its principles were known over a century ago, but two comparatively recent developments have enabled electricity to revolutionize the life and habits of practically everyone in this civilized world.
These are the electric generator and the electric motor. Without them, electricity would have remained a scientific phenomenon of interest to the very few. Most of our people have not yet known what electricity is in modern life.
The list of machines driven by electricity is almost endless. It would include such household appliances as the electric cooker, vacuum cleaner, washer, iron, refrigerator, lamps and heaters or air conditioners.
Thus, without electricity none of them can be operated by any other means. In fact, it is always embarrassing whenever the frequency or intermittent ‘electricity breakdown’ occurs and persists. Every activity to do with electricity comes to a complete standstill and languish a great deal of economic loss that cannot be compensated by anyone.
The interiors of many thousands of offices and factories the world over have been changed by the substitution of electric for steam or other power, that have now completely disappeared to give place to unobtrusive electric wiring.
The advantages to the workers lie in cleanliness, both on the job and in the premises or in households, and in far greater quietness and convenience of working or living comfortably enjoying your sleep at night.
Industry as a whole benefits by economy of running and by the lighter construction possible for factories, which no longer have to resist the deafening and boisterous vibration of massive shafts and all their attendant apparatus.
For example, machine shops, steelworks, printing works, computers or many types of pumps and of ventilating machinery, passenger lifts or elevators — here are a few more examples, written down at random, which affect many millions folk. Particularly, on the farms, such tasks as milking and separating are done more cleanly and more economically by electricity than by hand.
Finally, without some forms of electric generators and motors, transport by land, sea and air would still be very much as it was in the 19th Century. Electricity has made possible the tram and trolley-bus. Great things have been claimed for the electric drive applied to many modern ships in great seas. Hence, the electric and diesel-electric railway locomotive has, by and large, done much to bring railway travel into line with modern ideas and requirements.
At the present day, electrical power is generated in power stations in the AC form. D.C. being generated only for local purposes of a specialized nature – Frequencies has now been standardized; 50 cycles per second being the standard in Great Britain.
The electricity, which we can summon at will merely by touching a small switch, is usually generated in a power station such as the one at the traditional Kidatu, Kihansi, Pangani Falls (Hale), and many more turbines of that sort to be launched or being established; particularly in the most suitable areas around Rufiji basin at Silous Square in Tanzania.
And from those huge plants radiate lines supplying electricity for thousands of uses over a large area. Where possible, it is built on river bank, as large quantities of circulating water are required for the condenser.
Other sources could be coal as many tons of coal is needed for the furnaces and water- borne transport is usually more economical than rail. The generator hall houses the gigantic turbo-alternators each consisting of a turbine connected to a generator by a shaft. From such a machine, or several of them, the electricity starts its journey.
In the control room are switches and meters for regulating the supply. The transformers “step-up” raise the pressure to the high voltage required for economically transmitting the power through extended copper cable systems.
However, the increase in the maximum output for which turbo-generators can be built has led to a radical change in power station design. Instead of many sets, each dealing with a comparatively low output, the modern tendency is to operate with few machines of giant output, although, in the opinion of many engineers, this can be carried to excess.
In our country possessing plentiful supplies of underutilized water power; electrical energy can be generated without using coal or oil to raise steam. Total energy can be utilized in a similar way, but developments in the field are not so well advanced.
The general principle of hydro-electric generation is that water at a high level is made to pass through some form of water wheel or water turbine, thus causing it to rotate. Directly connected to this water turbine is an electric generator which, by its rotation, generates electrical energy which is fed over an electrical transmission system to the various load points of consumers. Modern water turbines may be divided into two classes, impulse and reaction.
How about major power projects still in their early stages including Mtwara gas, solar and wind plants, as well as national distribution networks all over this vast country and privatization opportunities that would create more jobs in the economy? Privatization means prosperity for all!
However, we still remember the complexity the First phase government under the Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere encountered while on the lookout for assistance to build Tazara railway line from Dar es Salaam habour to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia.
It was successful through the courtesy of the Chinese President Mao Tse Tung, without his support the project would have not materialized, and may God’s blessings reach all those who made this particular project possible and sustainable — Amen.
Finding the best investors for those electricity projects is crucial to knowing that they will be implemented in a way that creates shared value and promotes long-term sustainability.
And one of the best ways we can create more jobs in our developing country is by expanding access to electricity. That should be impetus behind the Ministry of Energy through TANESCO which is now working with other foreign firms to double access to electricity and bring about at least 100,000 more households on to the main grid across the developing country.
It is a good idea to develop more new sources of energy instead of being conservative clinching and depend upon one traditional source of energy (hydro-electricity) as elaborated above. It is due to environmental changes that are taking place now and then causing the once meandering rivers and presently having inadequate quantity of water to generate electricity after every other year.
Such further developments in increasing more sources now taking place, and consolidating or improving what we already have, will enable rural communities to plug into the national economy. Assuredly, the current government is striving hard to build on that progress, so that the Gas pipeline under construction currently should become a lasting legacy for President Kikwete on this developing nation.
This also reminds some of us on Kilimo Kwanza or Agricultural initiative, we should now focus on and whose development stems from President Kikwete and which was formally emphasized by Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the founder of this nation, but in a different style; and his slogan was “Kilimo cha Kufa na Kupona” it was the commitment to make food security a national priority. Therefore, Tanzania’s future will be determined by its own people.
It is not enough to react to crisis of 1970s when the country was adversely affected by drought and famine, in which period ‘the yellow coloured maize’ from abroad was the only main diet for the majority of the people, as well as ‘electricity rationing’ was as you might expect, introduced.
It was unavoidable to break the cycle of hunger and poverty through Mwalimu Nyerere’s theme or slogan on agriculture sector. That is why it worked directly with smallholder farmers and made sure people could feed themselves by increasing productivity, crop yields per acre and raised their income.
However, in the same vein “Kilimo Kwanza” coupled with electrification and infrastructure all over Tanzania should help more million farmers, particularly the youths, to plow the land by modern agricultural implements made available to them by being trained, allocation of land for that purpose and empowered with bank loans, to grow more organic processed food for the nation and marketing.
It is indeed based on fact that our country could do better when we protect human rights and harness the talents of all our people whoever and wherever they are within the country.