MAREP to connect 45,000 people from Rumphi West

 By George Pemba – Mana 

Over 45,000 people of Rumphi West stand to benefit from electricity supply following the switching on of Thazima extended Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP) Phase 8 power line. Minister of Energy, Atupele Muluzi switched on Thazima Power Line on Monday at Ghazima Primary School in the area of Chief Chikulamayembe in the district. Speaking after switching on the power line, he said government is geared to ensuring that all remote areas across the country are connected to electricity to fast track socio-economic development. “Government is committed to ensuring that through the Extended MAREP Phase 8, all the remaining remote areas that did not get connected in the previous MAREP phases get their share of the electricity connection,” Muluzi said. He said government understands the vital role electricity plays in facilitating socio-economic development of an area. “Availability of electricity in an area makes life easy as most complicated and time consuming activities are simplified. You talk of grinding of maize on electricity driven grinding mills, charging of phones within the comfort of your homes besides opening of salons and barbershops for both the young and old to look smart,” Muluzi explained. The Minister appealed to residents of the area to follow recommended procedures to have their houses connected to electricity and avoid by-passing Escom. “Go to Escom offices at the Boma and apply for the connection. Escom officers will then visit your house and certify it for connection after which they will connect it. Remember that illegal connections are not only dangerous but fatal as well as they might lead to accidents or even loss of life,” he advised. Member of Parliament for Rumphi West, Wiza Mkandawire lauded government for considering connecting his area which he said is some 65km away from Rumphi Boma. “You wouldn’t expect such a remote area to be easily connected to electricity since not only is it hilly but it’s also far away from the national electricity grid. Which is why we are all appreciative for this gesture,” he said. MAREP which is conducted in phases since 1980 has been addressing the electricity infrastructure imbalances for rural areas. The programme extends the electricity grid to rural dwellers that pay a subsidized fee to connect electricity to their business premises and dwelling units. Mana/gjp/tha



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