Having persistent power cuts is a sad reality for Malawians with darkness scaring people when daylight gets defeated but Zomba will have light streets even during blackouts as it has become the first city in Malawi to light its streets with solar power.
With financial help from Roads Fund Administration, Zomba City Council (ZCC) has installed 261 streets lights around the city at a cost of K287 million a development that has excited clean energy advocates.
In an interview with Malawi24, ZCC Public Relations Officer Mercy Chaluma said the council opted to reduce electricity bills while ensuring that city streets have lights at night.
“The council opted for solar powered lights as a way of promoting green energy and reducing the pressure on hydroelectricity.
“Apart from that the solar lights are expected to be sustained as the council will not be pressured with electricity bills,” said Chaluma.
She added that the project will see Zomba Flea market ring road and Nkulichi road to State House also being installed with solar lights.
Commenting on the development, Renew’N’Able Malawi has applauded the council for the project that is the first of its kind in the country.
Renew’N’Able Malawi Advocacy and Communication Officer Wonderful Mkhutche said other institutions need to adopt the use of green energy.
“This is an encouraging development. As Renew’N’Able Malawi, together with the Malawi Hivos partnership on Green and Inclusive Energy, we are proud of what Zomba city has done. We have unlimited energy from the sun. This means Zomba city has found a sustainable solution to their energy challenges. Other cities and institutions should borrow a leaf. This is the way to go,” said Mkhutche.
He further urged citizens to harness green energy saying “there is a great potential for renewable off grid energy solutions” to add up to the current grid.
Malawi is among countries that face energy challenges despite having alternatives sources of energy such as wind and solar.