381 homes receive electricity as Navajo Tribal Utility Authority continues making progress with CARES Act funds

Pictured: Navajo Tribal Utility Authority work crews connect electricity to a home in the community of Naschitti, New Mexico on November 28, 2020.(Photo: Navajo Nation - Office of the President and Vice President)

Press Pool

Overall goal is to extend electricity to 510 families

News Release

Navajo Nation - Office of the President and Vice President

Navajo Tribal Utility Authority has now connected 381 homes to the electric grid as of Monday, using CARES Act funds that the Navajo Nation received to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez recently visited several Navajo Tribal Utility Authority work crews in the communities of Naschitti and Whiterock, New Mexico to thank them for their dedication throughout the pandemic, and to visit several of the families who received power line connections, bathroom additions, and water cistern systems.

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority work crews continue to work 10-hour days including weekends, to complete powerline, water, and telecommunications projects. Navajo Tribal Utility Authority’s overall goal is to extend electricity to 510 families, which includes over 350 families that were identified during the 2020 LIGHT UP NAVAJO II application process.

“Navajo Tribal Utility Authority is doing amazing work around the clock, seven days a week. Their work crews are on the frontlines connecting many families to the electric grid and working with Navajo Engineering and Construction Authority and private contractors, many of which are Navajo-owned and employee Navajo workers, to provide bathroom additions and water cistern systems and waste water systems that provide long-term benefits and help to keep homes clean and families safer during this COVID-19 pandemic. I had the opportunity to meet with several of the families, many of whom are elderly, and they are excited and very thankful to be receiving assistance with the CARES Act dollars. We commend Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and we will continue to support them as they work to connect over 500 families by the end of the year,” said President Nez, who also delivered CARES Act food boxes and turkeys to the work crews and several families in the communities of Whiterock and Naschitti during his visit.

In August, the 24th Navajo Nation Council and the Nez-Lizer Administration approved $13.8 million for power line projects, $24.7 million to increase overall electric grid capacity, $20.9 million for cisterns systems, $18.6 million for wastewater systems, and $32.8 million for wireless and broadband expansion for Navajo Tribal Utility Authority from the Navajo Nation’s CARES funds. 

Navajo Tribal Utility Authority is also making more progress with water projects and telecommunications infrastructure development to provide more cell phone and internet access for residents. On November 14, President Nez also visited the home of Rose Begay, a longtime resident in Dilkon, Arizona, who recently received a new bathroom addition, electricity, water cistern, and wastewater system at her home where she has lived for over 20 years.

“We are very appreciative of the work Navajo Tribal Utility Authority is doing with the partnerships they have established with Navajo Engineering & Construction Authority (NECA) and other businesses. We know that many families are struggling without running water and electricity so it’s wonderful to see families receiving the relief that they need, especially during this pandemic. Our thoughts and prayers are also with the work crews, for their health and safety, as they continue working seven days a week to make great progress,” stated Vice President Myron Lizer.

The Nez-Lizer Administration continues to offer support for Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Navajo Engineering & Construction Authority, and all of the contractors who are working hard to complete CARES Act funded projects on the Navajo Nation.

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(Image: Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President)
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