District Commissioner for Balaka, Ali Phiri has described rural electrification by government through the Malawi Rural Electrification Program (MAREP) as a catalyst to development.
Phiri was speaking Wednesday at the switching on of Marep Phase 8 Mwaye Power Line at Mwaye Primary School, Traditional Authority Kalembo in Balaka.
He said the switching on of the power line which will provide electricity to a number of areas of Balaka North is a welcome development to Balaka District council as it will among other benefits ease the council’s work in posting staff especially teachers to rural schools.
“We have been experiencing resentment from our staff, especially teachers when we post them to rural schools. They actually tell you in the face that they can’t go because they say it’s as if we are punishing them.
“Among the reasons most of them give is that there is no electricity such that they will not be able to use their electronic gadgets such as hot plates, pressing irons and musical equipment,” explained Ali
He said but now they will have no reason to refuse as what they have looking for has finally been provided.
“Not only will this electricity help the teachers personally but it will also assist them in discharging their duties. For example they will be able to work at night when preparing lessons and marking pupils’ work. They will also have the advantage of conducting evening classes with learners thereby improving the performance of their learners in national exams,” Phiri said.
District Education Manager for Balaka Davie Nserebo corroborated with Phiri in an interview saying posting female teachers to rural areas has particularly been the major challenge.
Said Nserebo: “Female teachers mostly complain that they will not have the luxury of enjoying the modern life that their counterparts in urban areas enjoy such as plaiting their hair and grinding maize on electric mills.
“And not only do they complain about that; since most of them do harbour ambitions of upgrading themselves, they complain that they may not have the opportunity to access internet and have their assignments printed,” said Nserebo.
Switching on the power line, Minister of Natural Resources Energy and Mining, Aggrey Masi warned the community against making illegal connections.
“When you want to have your house connected, please go to Escom. They will help you. Illegal connections are dangerous because you can easily lose your life or property,” he said.
Masi also appealed to the people to avoid vandalizing Escom equipment observing that repairing vandalized infrastructure was becoming expensive to government.
Government, through Marep Phase 8, has managed to have a total of 336 centres connected to electricity across the country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :