Energy Ministry impressed with communities’ involvement in establishing power generation facilities

Ministry of Energy says it is optimistic that the country will manage to generate 1000 megawatts of power by the year 2025, due to reform programs which have led the energy sector to open up opportunities for independent power producers to operate in the country.

The remarks were made Saturday by the Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola when he toured Chipopoma Hydro Power which is situated at Mantchewe Falls in the area of Traditional Authority Kachulu in Rumphi District.

Matola said government with support from its development parterres is committed to have a 1000 megawatts on the national grid through different initiatives, citing the power interconnection deal with Mozambique and promotion of private entities in investing in the power sector.

“Some private companies have already started investing in the energy sector. Some are generating power using solar and hydro energy and very soon will see more companies introducing different power generation technologies,” said Matola.

Silence welcomes Matola at the power control room

Matola then commended the community of Mantchewe for establishing Chipopoma Power Hydro with financial support from United Nations Development Program(UNDP), an initiative she he said will spur development in the area.

“With the establishment of the power generation facility, we are hopeful that this area though it is within a very challenging terrain with falls and gorges, will soon be opened up to business and tourism investments among others,” he said.

Matola then advised the community against vandalizing the facility’s infrastructure, saying any form of vandalism of electricity equipment is an act of economic sabotage.

He said electricity is a catalyst for development hence the need to jealously   guard its infrastructure against vandaliosation.

According to the Director and Founder of Chipopoma Hydro Power, John Silence the power station which produces 53 kilovolts was established in 2016 but started operating in 2017.

Silence expressed gratitude to UNDP for supporting the initiative with construction of a 3.5 kilometer power distribution network and a 9.5 kilometer mini-volt power line network which services about 100 households.

“We however have some shortfalls which include but not limited to lack of calibrated billing system, we don’t have an office neither do we have computers which we can use for developing a computerized billing system. Because of these challenges, each household pays a monthly flat bill of K2,500.00,” said Silence.

He said they need to have a computerize billing system so that the facility generates reasonable income for the sustainability of the project.