By Peter Kanjere, PRO
Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) says implementation of the World Bank-funded Malawi Electricity Access Project (MEAP) is on track to clear the backlog and fast-track new electricity connections in rural and urban areas.
Escom Senior Customer Services and Commercial Manager, Wiseman Kabwazi, said this in his presentation to Members of Parliament (MPs) on the mechanics of the project's implementation on Saturday in Blantyre
Kabwazi made the presentation during a meeting with members of the Parliamentary Committee on Govt Assurances and Public Sector Reforms.
“The main aim of this project is to increase access to electricity. Access to electricity is currently very low and the government is doing whatever it can to increase electricity access," he said.
Kabwazi said MEAP seeks to accelerate electricity access to communities located within a radius of Escom infrastructure such as transformer
He said the first phase of the project has started and targets low income,50 000 customers in need of simple works such as single-phase connections.
“This project targets getting as many connections within the areas where we already have a network and infrastructure such as transformers,” Kabwazi said.
“We are targeting single-phase customers both in urban and rural areas that are within the range of our network and all they need are works such as a service drop connections, transformer upgrade and upgrading of our lines.”
IThe second phase targets 125,000 customers and ESCOM will sub construct the construction works for this phase./p>
The World Bank funded the project through a loan of USD 150 million with USD 105 million allocated to Escom and USD 30 million to the Ministry of Energy for an off-the grid project. The other USD 15 million is for the technical support component of the project.
MEAP was launched in Lilongwe last December and seeks to connect 180,000 low income single phase customers in the next two years.
Before the meeting, the MPs visited MEAP warehouse in Lunzu Blantyre where MEAP Manager, McDivings Longwe, briefed the legislators on the quantity of the materials received and the progress of the project implementation.
A representative of the MPs, Welani Chilenga said the legislators felt it wise to visit the MEAP warehouse to appreciate how the project is being implemented and the status of its progress.
Electricity access is currently low, estimated at 12 percent and the government seeks to increase that access in line with Vision 2063.
MPS Visit MEAP warehouse in Lunzu