UNDP sees mini grids easing Malawi power woes

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says it sees energy mini grids as a solution for Malawi’s energy challenges.

Minister Kutsaira inspecting solar pannels before commissioning the project.-Photo by George Pemba, Mana

Speaking when the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Natural Resources commissioned Sitolo Solar Minigrid in Mchinji, head of UNDP resilience and sustainable growth in Malawi, Andrew Spezowka, said he understands the enormity of the energy challenges daunting Malawi as a nation.

“The energy challenges that daunt the energy poverty in Malawi is quite deep hence the need for concerted effort to close the gap and ensure that not only Sitolo but surrounding communities benefit from reliable, affordable and clean energy,” said Spezowka.

Spezowka said UNDP targets areas impartially by going where the needs are greatest to make sure that in the last mile connectivity no-one is left behind in terms of energy access.

“Today we are commemorating connecting 150 households -in the next month or so through this partnership we will connect another 970 households,” he assured.

Minister of energy Mining and Natural Resources, Binton Kutsaira said the commissioning of the 80kw Sitolo Mini-grid power project was a clear testimony of government’s commitment to ensuring that electricity reaches every conner of the country.

“Government understands the importance of electricity in national development hence its efforts to ensure electrificaton of rular areas despite being far from the national grid.

Kutsaila said government acknowledges the fact that productivity in every sector is made possible with the availablity of electricity hence the need to ensure that every community has easy access to electricity; be it hydro, solar or coal generated.

On sustainability of the mini grid projects Kutsaira said they will be self sustaining as the people will be paying for the electricity they will be using.

Senior Chief Mlonyeni of Mchinji in whose area Sitolo Minigrid is located said he was excited with the project describing it as a nucleus of development to his area.

“I know that  based on the performance of Sitolo minigrid, the project will be replicated to other communities within and outside my area of jurisdiction,” he said.

He said his subjects will have a feel of urban life regardless to remoteness of their area such as running barber shops, salons and grinding meals.

Other mini grids which are hydropower generated are Bondo in Traditional Authority Mabuka in Mulanje and Usingini in Nkhata Bay.

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2 years ago

Chithumwa chavala suti yokudayo ndi ndani?? That guy is sick and must exercise. Ndumbandumba mimba yadzadza ndi manyi imeneyo. Shaaa. Like cartoon!

2 years ago

But UNDP being implicated in the May 2019 elections degrade these initiatives. We have heard nothing from them. It does worry me what UN wants to get gain when it meddles in the matter of the people it claims to help. UN should be very worried and an investigation should be done to clear itself.

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