Balaka West member of Parliament (MP) (Independent) Patricia Shanil Dzimbiri has emphasised the need to invest in solar energy as one way of curbing the rising energy problem the country is facing.
Dzimbiri, the former First Lady, said using solar power would help provide a long-term solution to the problem.
She made the remarks during her contribution on President Peter Mutharika’s opening address to the 47th session of Parliament delivered on November 10.
The Balaka West MP said women suffer the most as they spend long hours at maize mills waiting for electricity to come while their children starve at home.
“I totally agree with the State President that the first step in solving this problem is to accept it. We have a problem. Life is very tough and unbearable for Malawians. In Balaka West, Mr Speaker, Sir, especially TA Nkaya, people did not harvest anything and they are surviving on chakudya chathu cha lero. Now, when they go to the maize mills with the little maize in their basins, they spend two to three days at the mills due to outage of power,” she said.
Dzimbiri stressed that there is need for government to prioritise solar energy and wind mills to generate power for hospitals.
She noted that most of the power generated by Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (Escom) is being supplied to parastatals such as water boards. She said such institutions can generate their own power instead of scrambling for it with poor Malawians who are unable to do the same.
“ and wind mills to generate power for hospitals. It is also high time that water boards started generating their own power. If this happens, Mr Speaker, Sir, the 70 megawatts which is being consumed by essential service providers, would be distributed to industrial and domestic use,” she said.
Dzimbiri also said there is still shortage of water in Balaka West, saying the constituency is still waiting for 10 boreholes per Traditional Authority promised by government through former Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume.
“And people in Balaka are eagerly waiting for the boreholes. This will ease the water shortage problem the district is facing, particularly in TA Chanthunya, Nsamala and Nkhaya and Sub-TA Phalula.|,” she said.
She also asked government to rehabilitate Mpira Dam.
”If this Dam is rehabilitated, Mr Speaker, Sir, the shortage of water in Balaka District will be permanently resolved,” she said.
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