Thyolo Residents Wait for MAREP Connections
Some concerned businesspersons at Four-Corner Trading Centre in Thyolo have urged the government to connect power to households under Malawi Rural Electricity Program (MAREP) two years after extending power distribution lines in the area.
Four-corner Electricity Committee Chairperson, Devison Kavute, says they have been engaging authorities on the matter, but they keep dragging.
Kavute says in 2020, government extended power distribution lines and three transformers in the area, a thing that brought excitement among many.
"We commended government for extending MAREP project to this area in 2020 because we have been in need of electricity for many years.
"They advised us to quickly do wiring, sign contract forms and pay for our households. However, since then they have not been coming to connect the power.
"We have been engaging ESCOM, but they have been dragging, citing lack of socket breakers. But, people are suffering to access services needing electricity", said Kavute.
Some businesspersons at the Trading centre, Daniel Kachule and Jonas Galasiano, also say they had high prospects of an improved life and economic turn around with the switching on of power.
They have therefore asked the government to connect power to households in the area that will help to bring closer social services, such as maize mills.
Ministry of energy, Upile Kamoto, has told Zodiak today, that the site was already switched on in 2021, but shortage of materials at ESCOM has affected connections to households.
"The site was commissioned in 2021 under MAREP Extended Phase 8, but connections to households haven’t commenced due to shortage of materials at ESCOM.
"We have however, been informed and assured that procurement of the materials is underway and awaiting approvals by relevant government agencies. The global COVID-19 Pandemic has contributed to delays in procurement and delivery of materials for MAREP", Kamoto said in a written response.
MAREP was introduced in 1980, so as to increase access to electricity in peri urban and rural areas.
And since its inception, eight phases have been implemented.