Mera warns local innovators on safety
Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has asked innovators generating electricity locally to follow safety measures.
Mera Electricity Specialist Francis Gondwe said despite the institution promoting local generation of electricity, Mera is duty-bound to ensure that people’s lives are safeguarded.
Gondwe was speaking when Mera officials inspected Lwafu Power Generation Plant in Nkhata Bay, where locals, with guidance from Mzuzu Institute Technology and Innovation (Mziti), are generating 60 kilowatts from a mini hydro-power plant.
Gondwe said he was impressed with how poles, wires and other equipment were assembled at Lwafu Power Plant.
“We have seen professionalism in their work though we have seen that they have not finished in other areas. We are impressed because they have used proper equipment that would help in preventing accidents caused by electricity. Our priority is the safety of people and that is why we don’t want shoddy work,” Gondwe said.
Mziti Managing Director Hestings Mkandawire said despite producing 415 volts that can power about 350 houses, the organisation has run out of resources to buy poles, wires, step-up and step-down transformers.
Mkandawire said the organisation would require about K300 million to reach the intended population.
“We are happy that we are on the right track and we are also doing a lot of safety-related activities. We wish we could reach the entire area with power but resources we got from Segal Family Foundation have limited us,” Mkandawire said.
But speaking separately, Segal Family Foundation Country Director Temwa Msiska said they will work with Mziti in resource mobilisation.
Msiska was hopeful that the presence of electricity in the area would help address environmental degradation as people have been dependent on firewood and charcoal.
Malawi subscribes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which call for access to clean and sustainable electricity for all by 2030.