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$150 million electricity access project rolls out December

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By Wezzie Gausi

The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has said it intends to roll out electricity connections under the $150 million (about K154.6 billion) Malawi Electricity Access Project (Meap) in December this year.

Recently, The Daily Times revealed that funds for the project have been lying idle despite the country facing a series of blackouts.

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In 2019, the National Assembly approved the World Bank loan to implement Meap as part of the implementation modalities for the National Energy Policy of 2018.

Escom Chief Executive Officer Kamkwamba Kumwenda Wednesday said the utility company has procured meters and poles that are already in the country.

Kumwenda said other items, such as conductors, are currently in transit.

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“The connection process will be transparent and [we] will be providing connection schedules to the media.

“We intend to connect about 100,000 households. Currently, the backlog stands at 70,000, which means 30,000 will be new applications,” Kumwenda said.

Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change Chairperson Werani Chilenga welcomed the development.

Recently, President Lazarus Chakwera said he would like to see the implementation of three energy projects worth $1.5 billion (about K1.27 trillion) expedited.

The projects are the 350mw Mpatamanga Hydro-Power Project, Mozambique-Malawi Interconnector Project and Meap.

Part of the Meap funds is meant to connect 300,000 households for free.

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