Minister of Energy Atupele Muluzi says government will look into the issue of electricity connection fees to make the fees affordable to Malawians.
Muluzi made the remarks Sunday at Bukala of Traditional Authority T/A Timbiri where he switched on electricity in the area as part of Malawi Rural Electrification Program (MAREP) phase 8.
Speaking in an interview at Chisala ground after commissioning the power in the area, Muluz said the initiative was also worthwhile as it is part of public engagement in discovering people’s needs and demands.
He assured that government will consider the plea of adjusting the electricity connection fee as the current rates are too exorbitant. The current standard fee for a house is K93,000.
“We come here we learn, we listen to the communities on what we should do so considering them on slashing the levels of their expenses is important and we are going to sit down and see what we can do to make this affordable to the people so that they meet their daily needs,” Muluzi explained.
On MAREP, Muluzi said the initiative has been done as one way of Malawi’s government strategy to enhance the rate of electrification in the country in rural areas since only 11% of the country’s population has access to Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) generated power which has a direct relation to poverty.
He said: “It’s extremely important to visit this part of this development project because energy is the key element for economic development and in this particular situation, the lives of people are completely transformed.”
Taking his turn on behalf of the citizenry from the area on the development, T/A Timbiri expressed gratitude describing the initiative as a very welcome event saying people from the area will now be privileged to develop their lives through the means of electricity.
He said: “People from Bukala were initially challenged to have an access to electricity and do development projects to elevate their lives, more especially women who were having difficulties to go to the maize mill due to long distances.
“In this modern world, for development to happen it requires electricity as a source of energy. This means our area will definitely be transformed.”
Bukala is one of the 32 areas that have benefited from MAREP during the phase 8 in Nkhata-Bay as the government continues to roll out initiatives for this project as it gets implemented in the country.