Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Aggrey Masi has said the Malawi Rural Electrification Program (MAREP) which is in its eighth phase has seen several trading centres being connected to the national power grid.
Speaking during a switching on ceremony on Friday at Chigona Primary School in the area of Traditional Authority Mlauli in Neno, Masi said MAREP 8 is the biggest of all the previous seven phases combined considering that it is covering more areas.
Masi said government would want to see people in the remote areas who might afford on their own to have access to electricity get connected and in turn transform their lives hence the ‘Ndawala’ initiative where Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) is connecting villagers with payments in installments.
“President Professor Peter Mutharika directed us to make an arrangement with ESCOM to provide the service to those who cannot afford to wire or electrify their houses for free and when they start buying the units, a certain amount will go towards paying back on interest free,” said Masi.
District Commissioner for Neno, Rodrick Mateauma said the power line will contribute to the development of the district as there are so many economic activities that will emerge as a result of availability of power in the villages.
“People in the villages might have had several business ideas that were hampered by unavailability of electricity but they will now start those activities which will bring economic development to their homes and the district,” he said.
Mateauma, therefore, warned people in the district to desist from vandalizing ESCOM infrastructure but take care of the equipment so that it benefits them and their communities.
Speaking earlier, Traditional Authority Mlauli said people in the area were thankful for the development, noting that there were still many areas that needed power connection.
President Peter Mutharika launched Marep Phase Eight in April 2017.