By Wezzie Gausi:
Limited power generation capacity in the country continues to cripple implementation of the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (Marep), Minister of Energy Newton Kambala has conceded.
In Malawi, where reportedly less than 12 percent of the population has access to electricity, the lack of reliable power supply is a major constraint to business and economic growth.
But Kambala said the ministry was working towards finding a lasting remedy to the problem.
“The core activity of Marep has been extension of the electricity distribution grid. However, considering the low power generation capacity the country has been experiencing, the programme has also funded development of power generation plants,” Kambala said.
He cited the development of Wovwe Hydro Power Station on Wovwe River in Karonga District, which benefitted from the programme during its third phase. The station contributes 4.5 megawatts to the national grid.
“We are trying our best to look outside the box and secure more funding to reach more areas in the country with electricity. We also have partners, like JCM Power, that have installed solar power,” he added.
According to Marep statistics, about 1,227 sites have been reached with electricity in rural communities in all phases.
Recently, the Ministry of Energy said it was committed to investing more in solar power systems in a bid to reduce cases of power blackouts.
Solar power has been singled out as one of the solutions to propping up energy supply in the country.