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Kasungu Constituency presses for electricity connection

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Over 36 years since the implementation of Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (Marep) started in the country, the whole Kasungu North East Constituency is not connected to Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) grid.

The rural electrification programme started in the 1980s with Escom as the implementing agent using donor and own resources.

In 2004, however, the government approved energy laws, including the Rural Electrification Act for more efficiency in the implementation of rural electrification programme.

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Member of Parliament for the area, Elias Wakuda Kamanga, said people in the area feel bad that almost all constituencies in the country have at least some people with a share of electricity except them.

Kamanga, whose constituency falls under Traditional Authority (T/A) Kapelula, asked Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka in Parliament as to when the ministry will connect electricity to some health centres in the area.

“…And you know that electricity brings a lot of changes to an area. People would begin to have maize mills, barbershops, salons and of course connecting electricity to grocery shops and other shops but this is not the case in Kasungu North East. For many years I have been complaining and I have been asking questions in this assembly on why we are deprived of electricity in our constituency,” Kamanga said.

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In response, Msaka said the government is aware of the problem and some trading centres in the constituency will be connected during the implementation of Marep eight.

“At least that will bring joy to the people of my constituency,” Kamanga said.

The selection of sites for Marep is based on a rural electrification master plan which was concluded in 2004 with financial and technical support of the Japanese government.

The plan is founded on a three point criteria and the first element of the criteria requires that Marep activities must focus principally on the electrification of trading centres.

The second element of the criteria requires Marep to follow a strict equity principle where all districts in the country stand equal to each other, irrespective of their population size or level of electrification.

The third component of the criteria requires that for objectivity in site selection, targeted trading centres in each district be based on a rational ranking process following known economic sub-criteria.

Currently, this sub-criterion is based on the potential demand of each trading centre, which is invariably linked to the level of economic activities

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