Should Malawi really be celebrating a coal plant?

On December 3rd, 2015, I woke up to this feature article headline ” Malawi in Coal Fired Power Plant MOU with China Group: To Boost Economy”. The article quoted Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Goodall Gondwe, stating that the objective of the current government is to ensure that Malawi would no longer be called poor by the time they leave office. I must confess I like the enthusiasm demonstrated in this statement.

Marching protestors heading to coal mine- Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Marching protestors heading to coal mine- Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

However, despite all the bells and whistles that accompanied the signing of the agreement, it still looked to me like a host of complexities covered up in a few niceties. Stay with me, I will explain why.

At first glance one would immediately think, of course, why did we not think of this earlier. These people are geniuses. This is it, a panacea to our endless energy woes. Imagine, no more blackout nightmares, no more inadequate energy generation that negatively impacts on direct foreign investment, on top of that, Malawi’s dream of predominantly becoming a production based economy would no longer be a far fetched reality. Exciting news indeed, isn’t it?

Hold on a second, we are talking about burning coal right? Have we considered all the long-term effects of burning coal on the people living in the area earmarked for the plant? What about the surrounding environment? Have we considered the air, rivers and ground water? Where would villagers collect portable water from, if these sources get contaminated? Is this really worth it?

In medicine, a patient is recommended to take prescribed medication if its therapeutic effect outweighs the adverse effects. My point is, does the benefit of burning coal in Kam’mwamba outweighs its negative effects on the inhabitants and their surrounding environment?  Mwatisitikuwombela Mfit iMmanja pamanepa?Are we not celebrating an investment in a future public health disaster?

This comes on the heels of renewed calls for countries notorious for greenhouse gas emissions, such as China and the United States of America to systematically reduce their emissions.

United States is working at investing into alternative renewable energy initiatives and shutting down most of its coal power plants.  China has committed to follow suit. In fact, just recently, China signed a climate-change agreement with the United States.

According to the agreement, the two countries, who are also the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters promised to cap carbon pollution in 15 to 20 years. What this means is that China agreed to halt the growth of its carbon emissions by around 2030. If it meets that commitment, the country’s CO2 pollution will probably plateau at around 11 billion metric tons.

Conversely, United States agreed to emit between 26 percent and 28 percent less CO2 by 2025 than it did in 2005, when it produced 7.1 billion metric tons of carbon. This is major development and great news to the environment.

It is estimated that in 2010 alone china contributed over 22% of global green house emissions seconded by the U.S. at 15% whilst Malawi contributed zero percent. This is a great development for our country. It probably means Malawi has not done damage or polluted its environment yet.

The aforementioned percentages did not come without a cost to U.S. and China. These countries have paid and continue to pay dearly for using energy generated from coal over the years. With all financial resources at their disposal they are still struggling to contain the adverse effects resulting from coal burning.

Coal has negative impacts on public health. Clean air.org demystifies it this way. “Burning coal is a major source of fine particulate, acid rain, air toxics and greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Links have been made between exposure to pollution from coal-burning power plants and serious health impacts such as heart disease, respiratory diseases and different types of cancers. Not only that, burning coal also contaminates drinking water with mercury and other metals”.

Does Malawi have a plan for how it’s going to dispose of hazardous coal combustion waste? If yes, can this administration articulate what it is to array our fears? The simple reasoning behind this argument is, if hazardous coal combustion waste is disposed of in unlined pits, dangerous chemicals like arsenic can leach into drinking water supplies causing catastrophic public health problems.

Malawi has enough issues right now. Creating more issues is not in the interest of any upright thinking and patriotic Malawian. The country is in dire straits; nothing seems to be going right. People are looking for answers. Its apparent, pressure to demonstrate that the leadership is not on autopilot is palpable.

However, you do not create a potentially hazardous and probably uncontainable problem to be seen as resolving the prevailing ones. This is pure madness. When one has a chronic condition and is desperate for cure, the temptation to fall for anything that promises relief, even if it means for a short period overlooking its long-term effects is really high. Malawi is at that point. The economy is profusely bleeding. Constituents are running out of patience.

However, we still need you folks in public offices to keep your sanity and exercise extreme caution when coming up with solutions to pull the country out of this quagmire for the sake of our children and their children’s children.

As a country we need to understand why China has eventually become party to the climate-change agreement. In addition to being responsive to Global warming, China has been suffocating its own people. Today Beijing is nicknamed the masked city because if its citizens do not wear masks with filters it is almost impossible to breath.

We are currently struggling to supply drugs to hospitals. We are grounding hospital emergency services and rationing food for patients. Can we afford to purchase masks for the entire Kam’mwamba or Neno population? I am not implying that Kam’mwamba will become Beijing immediately. We may not be able to live to see it but our children and their children likely will.

Our Chinese counterparts are playing a double standard. Initiating and promoting green house gas emissions in Malawi, while reducing the same in their country? According to Scientific American, China’s National Development and Reform Commission has laid out a plan to cope with climate change through the end of the decade. They are building more nuclear power plants, wind farms, hydroelectric dams and even to start employing more solar power, of which, the country installed 12 gigawatts worth in 2013.

In fact, in 2013, more new clean energy sources were added to the grid in China than fossil fuel-fired power for the first time ever. China has added several hundred gigawatts worth of such clean energy, the Three Gorges Dam alone pumps out 22 gigawatts and also hopes to add as much as 1,000 gigawatts of these low-carbon emitting sources by 2030. I find this deceptive. They are not investing in coal burning power plants anymore. What is their explanation for not doing so?

If China is serious about assisting struggling countries such as Malawi in boosting their energy production for economic growth and development, wouldn’t it be intelligent to invest in energy infrastructure that would not be hazardous to the people and environment? Alternative energy such as wind and solar will do just exactly that. I seriously think President Peter Muthalika administration should take another look at this. Let us tread carefully.

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31 thoughts on “Should Malawi really be celebrating a coal plant?”

  1. Wilfred says:

    We could have our own nuclear plant with Kayelekela uranium by now, thanks to the greed of Bingu and his cousins! Mxiii!

    1. Zidura Ntengo UndigwereA says:

      Nanu inu apa, exaggerating “heavy”.
      Nuclear plants need nuclear technology and engineering. And big money. Where would the investment come from, and who would build and manage such a plant, in our “bush” coiuntry?

  2. levelheaded says:

    The most painful thing is that Americans and Chinese have the long life expectancy while relying heavily on coal while we Malawians with no any coal plant have the lowest life expectancy but still fearing death to the extent of wanting to cancel this development.

    We must have been under a certain spell.

  3. levelheaded says:

    The author of this article must be stupid to the highest order.

    I personally have had some piece work with Vale Emirates which is extracting coal in Moatize,Tete,Mozambique. I had some conversation with a certain Brazilian who happens to be the manager of a particular department am involved there, I asked him why his company is still investing heavily and would like to double production amid these global green gas initiatives? His response was just simple and straight forward that there shall be no any alternative to replace coal as a source of energy for heavy industries,their willing to double their production is because of the demand coming from the same America and China who are disguising others as the pioneers of this global iniciative.

    He told me this is the reason why Africa shall remain poor because we are forced to adopt these initiatives while they have and are using the same products like coal to run their heavy industries. He said if they are serious why not closing those heavy industries that cannot run without coal energy? They are banning public smoking and decampaigning the production of tobacco, why not just banning the products or closing their companies like British American Tobacco, why is America and China still having the biggest number of smokers globally? He said If I was to answer all these questions, I would discover why in Africa we are just imposed these global initiatives when intact we are just taken for a ride.

    The most reliable source of electricity globally is coal which contributes to 40 percent of all sources.

    Amalawi koma kukayikira chilichonse kaya ndi chani? Mukufuna boma lithane ndi mavuto koma likati tikumbe mafuta pa nyanja mukuti ayi? Timange chipatala cha khansa pafupi ndi xool ya madotolo Ku Blantyre mukutinso ayi koma Ku Lilongwe. Timange ma coal plant chifukwa magetsi akuvuta mukutinso ayi tingawononge chilengedwe bola kukhala mumdima.

    Atombolimbo opanda pabwino.

  4. concerned citizen says:

    J K. YOU DIDNT UNDERSTAND WHAT THE WRITER OF THE ARTICLE ABOVE IS TALKING ABOUT.
    YOUR COMMENT IS IN THE NEGATIVE. BUT, HE HAS SAID THE TRUETH. WHAT HE IS SIMPLY SAYING IS THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD INVEST IN ALTERNATIVE SOURCE OF ENERGY WHICH IS INVIRONMENT FRIENDLY. E.G – WIND ENERGY AND SOLAR ENERGY. WIND ENERGY – KUMANGOCHI HARNESS THE WIND THAT IS ALWAYS THERE AT THE LAKE SHORES . SOLAR ENERGY – LOWERSHIRE WHERE THERE IS SUNSHINE ALMOST ALL YEAR ROUND. IFE TOMWE TIKULIRA KUMATI, CHILENGEDWE CHASINTHA , MVULA SIIKUGWA BWINO NGATI KALE. IS IT NOT BECAUSE THE INVIRONMENT HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY GLOBAL WARMING FROM SUCH PRACTICES AS BURNING COAL?

  5. Mapwevu says:

    BRING THOSE TREATIES HERE SO THAT WE CAN UNSIGN THEM! DONT TIE THE COUNTRY TO YOUR STUPID TREATIES! THEY MAY HAVE MADE SENSE THEN BUT NOT NOW!!!!!!

  6. Fabiano says:

    THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE MUST BE VERY STUPID. IS IT ONLY MALAWI THAT SHOULD MIND ABOUT OZONE LAYER? OTHER COUNTRIES ARE RUNNING COAL MINES, WHY NOT MALAWI. GO TO HARARE, JOHANNESBURG, ETC, YOU WILL SEE ALL THESE COAL POWERED PLANTS RIGHT IN THE CITIES.

    SOMETIMES I GET BUFFLED BY THESE SO CALLED ENVIROMENTALISTS WHO OPPOSE EVERYTHING INCLUDING OIL DRILLING FOR THE SAKE OF ENVIRONMENT AND YET OTHER COUNTRIES ARE MOVING FORWARD. IF COAL IS SUCH TOXIC, PEOPLE WILL HAVE TO BE MOVED TO OTHER AREAS. WE NEED DEVELOPMENT, FINISH. WE ARE TIRED OF POVERTY!

    MUKHALA CHONCHO NDI MASANZA ANUWO. AND YET YOU WANT FUEL FOR YOUR CARS. WHERE WILL THE FUEL COME FROM IF ALL THE COUNTRIES REFUSE TO DRILL OIL IN THE NAME OF PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT????????????????????

  7. Nyamiti says:

    Kamwamba may not have enough coal deposits but the initiative can not fail because of that. Australia is the highest producer and exporter of coal and the product is not used in Australia alone. Coal can be transported from north, south, central to Kamwamba. These are issues of national development, not always thinking in regional lines.

  8. Wadidinkhumphedza says:

    The writer doesn’t know what is going around the globe. China, India and Brazil are in their own industrial revolution right now. They are launching coal power plants massively to run their industries. You can’t develop without industries and development started with coal powered industries in industrial revolution after world war 2.

    George Bush refused to sign the 1997 Kyoto Protocal of the UNCCC citing some of the reasons: there is going to be massive retrenchment in America, people are going to lose their jobs because companies are going to shut down. The president was concerned of people sufferings because of emissions reductions.

    Malawi has not even started polluting but we are already fearful. All theses countries are developed because they have contributed tons and tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They enjoy economic development because of polluting the environment while our people live in poverty but protect the environment. The environment you are trying to protect now is already polluted and the climate will never be stable anymore.

    Coal is cheapest world over and is a solution to drive our economy for sustainable development

  9. JK says:

    These person against coal is a fool period. South Africa is building more coal power station for their people and what are you talking about. You are a villager who dont know what you are talking about. Kagwere uko.You are staying in nyumba yama getsi and you dont want the rest of population to have electricity.Uli ndi ufiti or you are a witch. Usadzalembenso zopusa zakozo.

  10. Pyolo says:

    We have plenty coal in Rumphi and Karonga. 1st grade coal for that matter. Why take the project to Kammwamba instead of Kaziwiziwi or Mwenilondo. Why waste the much needed forex by importing second grade coal from Moertz in Mozambique. Shame on Government on what it is doing.

  11. KUKAYA WA KUKAYA says:

    GVT MISSING ON ITS PRIORITY PROGRAMS AND SEEMS TO BE DOING HAPHAZARD PROGRAMS.
    PLEASE GVT OFFICIALS WAKE UP OR JUST HUMBLY RESIGN TO PAVE WAY FOR NEW BLOOD.

  12. johnM says:

    The reason I hate the coal power plant being proposed is that it will heavily rely on foreign exchange as the coal will be coming from Mozambique. Malawi has its own coal however because the coal is in the North and clearly we Malawians don’t want to develop the North then we must build it in the South instead. Where we shall get the forex to pay for the additional coal we will be importing, only God knows.

  13. kwelume says:

    The learned fellow should have given alternatives. By the way, without burning coal is our environment clean, our water safe? are we better off burning all the trees as a source of energy? May be he is suggesting we go nuke, clean and cheap. Yes may be he is suggesting we take the pace of USA, and China as he compares- yes since we already have Kayerekera. I would have appreciated the field of his learning because, it seems he is in medical profession but has gathered quite alot on energy and environment. Let us think outside the box men of Malawi

  14. Inu says:

    I think the writer needs to do a comprehensive research on this matter. There is a reason why globally, hydropower only constitutes less than 20 per cent of the energy mix. Even if we were to develop all hydropower potential, its contribution globally will not be above 20 per cent. Currently coal constitutes the highest percentage of the energy mix. However going forward it will slightly decrease due to the commissioning of new forms of energy such as natural gas, solar, wind, tidal and the like. What you have to know is that most of these new forms of energy which are also considered green are in their infancy and as such very expensive to develop and will for some time prove not economical to Malawi.

    While Malawi relies almost totally on hydropower, climate change will be our biggest enemy. The dependence on it needs to be decreased because we are in a climatic zone that will be negatively affected by it. We are likely to experience droughts of a long term nature and as such you have to brace for more blackouts if we cannot diversify our energy sources.

  15. John Thomas says:

    We all know and have seen that the hydroelectric approach to generating sustainable power is not viable. Zambia, Zimbabwe and indeed Malawi are undergoing severe power shortages right now because of low stream flows due to drought, and nothing can be done about it.
    Whether coal is a suitable alternative is a case of doing an effective Cost Benefit Analysis. Coal does indeed have some adverse environmental impacts, but these can be mitigated. The case of using coal in Malawi cannot and should not be compared to that of the US or China, the scale is several hundreds orders of magnitude different. My view is YES Malawi should go ahead and implement the coal fired power stations, but an exhaustive environmental impact assessment is required.
    For location, I would install it in Rumphi closer to adequate coal sources and ample water that will be required for cooling towers.
    My view is that the slash and burnt, as well as charcoal burning are having a major environmental impact that is probably worse than a coal power station. Adequate power made available to the masses will save our forests

  16. Kanyimbi says:

    Just recently, I was watching a Ugandan TV station and they were showing how the country has invested in a large Solar power field. This is clean energy. Please our leaders we are leaving in a digital time and not analogue, Why do you think of steam engines?

  17. Nyani wa ku Mwananyani says:

    The writer has not convinced me that a coal plant, in Malawi, would negatively impact the world environment in any significant way. Ditto even for the local environment of southern or eastern Africa. Total contribution to the world’s pollution (that’s what environmentalists consider) in terms of GHG (greenhouse gasses) would be negligible; won’t even register on any scale.
    Furthermore, our pollution rates in such terms of the GHG outputs, would also negligible. As would per capita outputs; or total yearly output tonnage.So pathetic, and even laughable, as to suggest we are almost a pre-industrial society.
    The arguments advanced may apply to China and India; and maybe Brazil and South Africa. But achimwene (Bro) leave Malawi out of this. I doubt even if professional environmentalists would agree with the writer’s arguments. Same for economists, when they consider the economic benefits cf the costs.
    Engineering can now mitigate against some of the health consequences of coal energy. No?
    Are we willing to be held back in economic development by denying ourselves the same technologies that have helped countries like India and China make economic leap forwards? Really? How stupid would that be, eh?

  18. Guantanamo says:

    Indeed, govt shud take heed. 2ndly, Kammwamba does not hv coal deposits. The only place in Mw which has coal (to my knowledge) is Kazibizibi and Mchenga in Rumphi. Why not install the factory there?

    1. Inu says:

      Because the coal used will be coming from Moartize Mozambique which is first grade coal. Why now if you may ask? Because of the new railway line which will be transporting coal to th Mozambique pirt of Nacala

  19. chimutu says:

    iwe usatitopese ndi za environment zakozo . how long should we left poor and live miserably lives. if this is a dream come true then let it be accomplished cz the nations ur mentioning here have developed from the same and here ur handclaping them for turning into greenworld after they have successfully devastated nature. if ur here orchestrating the stoppage of theses project then do the same with gay rights issues and the lake Malawi oil issue so that utchuke ndiwe. but as for mi, much as my country and our people are surviving from a tea spoon sugar only..then let the government implement the projects they want to embark on irrespective of the so called treaties and signings u mentioned here. theses projects will be a cash cow for the nation much as our revenue base is concerned.

  20. Machecheta says:

    Lack of reliable energy is one of the reasons why Malawi has remained poor for a long time. No serious investor is willing to come and invest in Malawi because we are persistently in blackout. There is no single country on the entire globe that developed without emission of greenhouse gases GHGs. All the 25 most industrialised countries made huge emissions in order for them to develop. There is very high correlation between the levels of development and the historic emissions.
    The 25 countries are still significantly contributing huge emissions into the atmosphere. Do you know that the EU abolished the Production Quotas among its member states? Do you know that some EU states which attempted to strictly follow their nationally determined commitments went into economic recessions? By the way, have we already quantified the anticipated emissions that the plant at Kammwamba is gonna produce? Have we already thought about the pre-emptive measures to deal with the emissions from the plant? Do you know that Malawi is endowed with a lot of Coal deposits? What are these deposits for?

    If Malawi is to develop, she needs adequate reliable energy. My opinion is that Malawi should go ahead with the Kammwamba Coal Fired Power Plant. All we need to do is to ensure that the power plant has sufficient mitigation measures for abatement of the emissions.
    I feel very sorry for my country when sometimes it is turned into some sort of a laboratory for testing some less useful solar equipment that cannot provide the necessary power to drive; industries, irrigation pumps, mills, stoves for cooking etc. Agreed, that we have to go for clean energy like; solar power, micro-hydro power, wind power, thermo power. But these will have to come and compliment ESCOM and the Kammwamba power plants. The country needed this energy yesterday!!!

    Our children are migrating to South Africa where they meet xenophobia because we are very poor. If you check the global energy supply, all the rest of the globe has power, while on the African continent its only South Africa.

    We need transformative and radical solutions that will enable us to come out of our poverty. Malawians have been stuck in abject poverty for so long, and its time for all of us to be very tired of this poverty.

  21. Kuwali says:

    Yes Malawi has a plan for everything ……… On paper.

  22. 2016 welcome says:

    I didn’t finish your article to the end because I right away grasped the point you want to make in the opening paragraphs . The issue is there shall always be a tussle between environmentalists and economists (developers). The painful, if not the expensive truth, is that there is always trade offs in life. For instance, while Malawi has not polluted the environment but it has suffered economically while China(and the US) have massively adulterated their environments, they are the global economic power houses and all of us look up to them for our economic problems. Not so? Let’s broaden our energy source and the emphasis should be how to ensure that the waste generated is safely discharged. Otherwise the developed world we all admire went through the process of diversification of energy source. Remember the industrial revolution. By the way, do you know how many lives we have lost because of a poor economy partly because of having no enough power to drive the industrialization? Ever hesrd of; not taking a risk is the greatest risk in life? In fact Malawi should be more concerned with the wanton cutting down of trees due to charcoal burning than coal burning.

  23. The Analyst says:

    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O
    My friend, am not yet done with you . . .

    The buses, and all other cars you see around, produce carbon monoxide, a very toxic gas which given a chance to befriend your blood, you are no more in no time. Yet we have cars and buses abound! Do you know why?
    . . . The benefits of having them far outweigh the cost. Also . . .
    . . . The scale/level at which the cars produce the carbon monoxide is not alarming . . .
    Have you by any chance lent your left ear to many a bachelor on why they are not yet married?
    . . . They are always more willing to open their mouths and glorify and amplify the negative side of marriage than they are to open their ears and hear about the positive side.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    . . . The story you have narrated here is a story of a bachelor, that only amplifies the negative side hence lose focus of the positive side. I bet you, even a basic cost-benefit analysis of this non-existent devil you are afraid of, will tell you that Malawi will be far better off supplementing her power-generating capacity with the coal.
    . . . The U.S., China, India and other too-many-to-mention countries developed or are developing because of this very formula you discard now. You mean to say, these countries did not/do not see the negatives you are amplifying now? You see, in life just as in investment, there are risks. Now, our purpose is not to avoid the risks, but manage them.
    . . . That’s why people marry (knowing well that at least 90% of either their life’s misery or happiness will come from there); we drive cars (knowing well that we can die in an accident) e.t.c
    . . . A child is always afraid of the dark; but only if the child could light and take a candle and walk into the dark; the darkness would vanish and the child would realise that in there; is nothing.
    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O

  24. Otieno says:

    Mwene CheChonga this is total rubbish. How can you compare a tiny power plant Malawi intends to construct with massive China’s or US’s coal fired plants. Look around you will realise that far advanced economies are developing new coal power plants. Economic benefits outweigh, by far, the negative effects of this tiny plant. Why are we Malawians always anti development? We opposed Uranium mining, drilling of oil on Lake Malawi, mining of heavy sand in Mulanje, development of Shire valley irrigation scheme, and cane plantation and mill in Nkhata-bay among other projects. Are we smarter in terms of economic development than the countries that have coal plants? Zinazi tiziganiza. Why has the Brazilian company invested in rail line for transportation of coal from Moatiz if the writer’s negative article is worth the paper it was written on? Aside from economic benefits, the Coal plant will help us save trees and avert environmental crisis which may be caused by massive deforestation we are experiencing due to lack of reliable and affordable
    alternative source of energy.

  25. Sapitwa says:

    It is clear that your story has been written focussing fears on the environment. You did not do research to find what happens to the water coming out of such plants. This water ends in slimes dams and well controlled. It does go underground to contaminate the water table as you think.
    Regarding the air, take note that there is a purification process making it safe before it goes to the horizon.There is also steam from the chambers that ends in the air safely combined with coal Emissions.
    A single power plant should not raise the much fears that you have listed in your story.The damage to the air by this plant is so negligible to even think of.
    China and America are the right countries required to reduce the emissions but they are not going to get rid of each and every power plant fired by coal. South Africa has been using coal fire powered plants to an extent of even having 4 large plants within a 45km radius for many decades without any problem at all.
    They have no water contaminations, no side effects from the air around these plants except for acid rains which also do not do any harm to the crops and vegetation around the area.
    The Government is on right track Mr Chonga.

  26. The Analyst says:

    O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….O
    “Some people are so afraid of dying that they never begin to live at all.” – Henry Van Dyke (American Poet)

    Lets explore the oil on lake Malawi – No – We shall contaminate the water and kill our Chambo.
    Ok, lets mine some uranium at Kayelekera – No – uranium is very dangerous; we cant handle it.
    Now lets increase our power-generation capacity, you are coming with this writing. Are you sure we can move to anywhere as a country with this kind of higgledy-piggledy bachelor’s mentality? Will you be surprised if you are told that many of life’s problems do not exist, except in our mind? Observe!
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    You see, the problem is not burning coal and emitting carbon but the scale/level at which the coal is burned hence the carbon emitted. Carbon is an essential part of the ecosystem. You can ask the green plants. Surely, big as the U.S. and China are, the scale at which they burn coal is so huge that their contribution to the greenhouse effect is equally huge. Thus, the need to reduce the same.
    Nonetheless, we cant expect Malawi to be burning coal at such alarming levels as to disturb herself, Zambia, Mozambique n Tanzania.

    Lets open our eyes and refuse to be cheated. You see, it is the law of the gods and men that . . .

    “20 years from now you will more disappointed by the things that you did not do than the ones you did do. So . . . . Sail away from the safe harbour, and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr (American Author)
    O……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O

  27. bentry chirwa says:

    You are right that EIA would be needed nutt but you seem to be biased dis favouring it. You also need to understand politics of the environment and climate justice issues. It’s true that coal is the dirtiest source of energy yet it accounts for nearly half of UK & USA energy currently not mentioning China. This energy source that you are mocking has partly aided these countries in their industrialisation efforts and is regarded as the cheapest excluding its cost on the environment. You rightly put it that Malawi emits insignificant coal greenhouse gases yet you never acknowledged that we are paying for the sins (climate change) committed by the developed world. Now that these countries have advanced economically using the ” cheap ” energy source,they want us who are not yet developed to follow suit? That’s why other countries like India are scaling up the coal powered energy to ensure its 6 million population is connected to grid. I argue that as of now we need more power like yesterday by hook or crook ro catch up with the rest of the world.Mind you at 51 we have only 9% connected to electricity. Therefore, I don’t mind coal powered energy. As we develop, we will scale down and replace it with cleaner energy. Nde magesi momwe akuzimirazimiramu iwe nkumalemba nyasi zakozi zosakaniza ndi ma typing errors. Kumbwambwana basi.

  28. bentrysmart says:

    You are right that EIA would be needed nutt but you seem to be biased dis favouring it. You also need to understand politics of the environment and climate justice issues. It’s true that coal is the dirtiest source of energy yet it accounts for nearly half of UK & USA energy currently not mentioning China. This energy source that you are mocking has partly aided these countries in their industrialisation efforts and is regarded as the cheapest excluding its cost on the environment. You rightly put it that Malawi emits insignificant coal greenhouse gases yet you never acknowledged that we are paying for the sins (climate change) committed by the developed world. Now that these countries have advanced economically using the ” cheap ” energy source,they want us who are not yet developed to follow suit? That’s why other countries like India are scaling up the coal powered energy to ensure its 6 million population is connected to grid. I argue that as of now we need more power like yesterday by hook or crook ro catch up with the rest of the world.Mind you at 51 we have only 9% connected to electricity. Therefore, I don’t mind coal powered energy. As we develop, we will scale down and replace it with cleaner energy. Nde magesi momwe akuzimirazimiramu iwe nkumalemba nyasi zakozi zosakaniza ndi ma typing errors. Kumbwambwana basi.

  29. Har says:

    I find this post wanting in some aspects. Firstly why do we always look at the negative side of things? The same was said about Kayerekera. When will we look at the positves of development works? Secondly USA & China have nurned coal for over 200 years to get to where they are today and their economies still heavily rely on coal. What is wrong with Malawi going the same route? India declared that it will increase its coal burning because that’s what it needs to grow. now if a big economy like India openly declared its intentions who are we not to do the same? Thirdly how much emmission will a 1000mega watt power plant produce? Have you made an assessment of how this pollution will affect the environment? Have you analysed the economic data to conclusively declare that the economic benefits are far below the costs that will come as a result of the power plant? Lets love our country and aim to make it prosper not just concentrating on the negatives

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