About 8 000 households in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mazengera in Lilongwe are expected to have light in their homes courtesy of a solar lighting project.
Miral Welfare Foundation Malawi (MWFM) is implementing a project called Energy Dream Town with support from Chest Fund of South Korea.
MWFM monitoring and evaluation officer Jameson Majawa said in an interview on Saturday that the project seeks to improve the socio-economic status of rural people through solar lighting.
“The project intends to support learning in homes, charging of phones and also increasing study hours for school children who should be able to study even at night,” he said.
The project is expected to plant a solar centre at Chisomo Miral Community Centre in T/A Mazengera’s area, which will comprise 55 solar panels.
Other project components include the establishment of an independent solar power system at Nkhoma Synod library and distribution of 8 000 solar lanterns to some households in T/A Mazengera.
According to Majawa, about five percent of the ultra-poor will receive free solar-powered torches while 95 percent will be asked to pay a minimum fee of K500.
“This is a deliberate approach to avoid creating a market for torches as anything below zero value is not marketable,” he said.
Lilongwe District Council director of planning and development (DPD) Douglas Moffat commended the project, saying it complements government’s efforts in improving living conditions in rural areas through rural electrification.
According to the Energy Dream Town project document, each group village head (GVH) has been allocated a number of beneficiaries depending on the population and number of villages.