In an effort to end the sale of substandard solar products, Community Energy Malawi (CEM) in partnership with Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) and Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has embarked on sensitizing the public on how and where they can purchase quality products.
Last week the organization held sensitization campaigns on the issue in Dedza and Balaka districts under Rural Energy Access through Social Enterprise and Decentralization (EASE) project with funds from the University of Strathclyde and support from the Scottish Government.
In an interview after the campaigns, CEM’s Energy Development Officer Estrida Nyirenda said their wish is to see Malawians purchasing standard solar products which are guaranteed to last long.
“Most of the solar products found in the local markets are substandard. Even more, we have also taken note of illegal installations. As CEM, we feel this is happening due to lack of information by both the sellers and buyers. That is why we have engaged MBS and MERA to help us enlighten the public in that regard,” she said.
She added: “Apart from holding these campaigns we will also be moving around the two districts to meet with Area Development Committees so that people in the communities should get to know this kind of information.”
In his remarks, MERA’s Senior Renewable Energy Specialist responsible for Renewable Energy undertaking, Wilfred Kasakula, urged the buyers to only deal with certified sellers and installers for their homes and businesses.
“We have over 500 certified installers in the country. So we are encouraging Malawians to use these installers to be guaranteed of durable use,” he said.
EASE project aims to increase access to sustainable energy through microgrids, energy hubs and kiosks for rural communities in Dedza and Balaka, thereby enabling economic development and improved livelihoods of the targeted communities.