By Moses Nyirenda
Lilongwe, Mana: Civil Society Network on Climate Change (CISONECC) has asked government through the Ministry of Energy to come up with additional means of generating electricity that would help many people in the country including those in rural areas to have electricity access.
Speaking recently during a press briefing which was organized by CISONECC to stress out on the country’s energy sector status quo and development, CISONECC National Coordinator, Julius Ng’oma said that the livelihood of many people in the country would improve if they have access to electricity.
“With less than 15 percent of the population having access to electricity despite being in the business for over 50 years, we believe it is time to allow Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to support communities to spur social economic development.
“We have seen how areas such as Bondo in Mulanje have had livelihoods improved with the establishment of mini-grids by Mulanje Electricity Generation Agency,” Ng’oma said.
He therefore urged the government to support the generation of electricity in the country using min-grids by IPPs so that many people in the country including those in rural communities should have electricity access.
“Having ratified the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals, Malawi agreed to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services, with the lack of adequate investments in electricity generation capacity,
“It is therefore paramount for government to promote establishment of mini-grids by IPPs and ensure favorable conditions are put in place for mutual benefit of the power producers and suppliers to support sustainability,” he said.
In her comment, Ministry of Energy Public Relations Officer, Upile Kamoto-Lali said that government through the Ministry of Energy is working tirelessly towards establishment of min-grids in the country.
“In the min-grids area efforts are being done, so far there are three min-grids that we have established, there is one in Sitolo in Mchinji and it is 80 kilowatt min-grid, this min-grid has connected about over 700 households in Mchinji district.
“Another one is in Chipopoma in Rumphi and it is about 50 kilowatts and it has connected about 100 households as well as businesses like; maize mills, salons and barbershops,” Kamoto-Lali said.
She further said that the third mini-grid which government through her ministry is supporting is in Mulanje and it is known as Bondo, it is a 220 kilowatt min-grid and it has connected about 1600 households.
Government through the Ministry of Energy is planning to come up with more mini-grids in various parts of the country which will allow more people including those in rural communities to have electricity access, according to Kamoto-Lali.