Malawi government on Monday commissioned four diesel-powered generators that will be generating electricity on Likoma and Chizumulu Islands, effectively ending a dark era of prolonged power blackouts and load shedding on the two islands.
The supplier of the gensets, Clifford Kawinga of Creck Hardware, installed the generators that will produce 1.760 megawatts (MW), under the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (Marep).
The company was awarded the K952 million contract to implement the project by the Marep.
Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Bintony Kutsaira, presided over the commissioning ceremony amid great excitement and expectation among the people of Likoma and Chizumulu islands.
There will be two generators of 560 kilowatts (KW) each on Likoma while Chizumulu, will have two generators of 320 KW each.
The generators have replaced a small genset that produces just 250 KW, a development that is likely to bring huge changes on the two Islands where electricity is heavily rationed and affects delivery of essential services.
Kawinga said they have brought in big generators of 750kva and 450kva, right from the manufacturer in United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sharjah, to Likoma and Chizumulu islands.
Said Kawinga: “Before the generators came in the country, we took six engineers to Sharjah for factory acceptance test to inspect if the generators were being produced according to their specifications, and we also took another team of six engineers for training on how they can use the generators effectively and efficiently.”
In July this year, residents of Likoma took to the streets, protesting the perpetual blackouts. Likoma and Chizumulu islands are cut off from the national electricity grid due to their geographical position.