Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has launched a mini-grid regulatory framework project, with a call that the country cannot develop without reliable electricity.
Speaking during the launch in Mulanje on Thursday, Mera former board chairperson Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe said the project aims at reaching out to small communities with electricity.
“It’s an exciting development that mini-grids project has helped in serving communities with electricity which is an indication that those communities are developing economically,” he said.
Bvumbwe also encouraged communities to develop initiatives and seek assistance where possible.
On his part, Mulanje Renewable Energy Agency project coordinator Arnold Kadziponye said they are producing 128 kilowatts of power which has boosted 128 enterprises in 17 villages in the district.
“Climate change has affected us a lot because water levels have gone down. However, in collaboration with Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust, we have planted 300 000 trees in river banks to conserve water,” he said.
Kadziponye also said so far, they have 1 315 customers and have connected power to six maize mills, six primary schools, a community secondary school and a health centre.
He said they target to have 10 000 customers by the end of the year.
The firm charges businesses K72 per kilowatts per hour (kph), households K58.64 kph and churches K32.34 kph.
Figures from Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) put the country’s electricity access at 10 percent against a population of about 18 million people.