Malawi should shift from its overreliance on the Shire River as a major source of hydro power generation and focus on other possible ways such as mini-grids, Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola has said.
Speaking on Wednesday after visiting a project by Mulanje Electricity Generation Agency (MEGA) which produces electricity accessed by 1,000 households in Group Village Headman Bondo in the area of Traditional Authority Sungani Nzaru in Mulanje, Matola observed that mini-grids are vital for rural electrification, hence the government would establish more to ensure connectivity of more areas in the country.
“We are lucky that serious damage only happened at Kapichira. Had it been that it started from Nkula going downwards the country would have had no power and this should serve as a warning to the whole country to look at other ways,” the Minister said.
He said he was excited to learn that Mulanje mini-grid was assisting in power generation and helping in restoring Mulanje forest which has been under heavy deforestation.
MEGA Operations Manager Sam Mambo said they are failing to add more customers to their grid due to lack of meters for new connections.
He requested the Ministry of Energy to assist with the meters that are currently not in use at ESCOM due to a change in its system.
Mega produces about 200 kilowatts hourly but has the capacity to produce six megawatts from Lichenya River whose source is Mulanje Mountain.