A man builds a hydroelectric plant that provides electricity to 100 homes – Malawi 24
John Sayilence led his community in the construction of a hydroelectric power plant which currently provides electricity to approximately 100 households in Mantchewe, Kachulu Traditional Authority in Rumphi.
Sayilence, a high school dropout, built the Chipopoma hydroelectric plant with help from the community. Under Sayilence’s leadership, community members descended the cliff more than 250 meters to install locally-made power generation equipment at Mantchewe Waterfalls.
With funding from local social enterprise owners, Sayilence had managed to procure a 50 KW generator, a locally made turbine, PVC pipes and two maize mills. The system began to operate by powering the community’s maize mill.
According to Energy Minister Ibrahim Matola, who visited Sayilence on Saturday, the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) has recommended that the system be supported by stakeholders to make it safe.
United Nations Development Program – UNDP also stepped in and through the Increasing Access to Energy Project and successor project ACRE, in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, upgraded the power plant and expanded a mini-grid that can now power a corn mill, a Home Crafts Cooperative, Elementary School, Yewo Jewelry Center, and Mushroom Farm Tourist Attraction Center.
Speaking to local media, Sayilence thanked UNDP for supporting the initiative with the construction of a 3.5 kilometer electricity distribution network and a 9-mile mini-volt power line network. 5 kilometers.
“We do, however, have some shortcomings which include but are not limited to the lack of a calibrated invoicing system. We do not have an office or computers that we can use to develop a computerized invoicing system,” said Sayilence.
According to Matola, the UNDP is assisting in the purchase and installation of a proper billing system that would allow the sale of tokens.
“Currently they charge a flat monthly fee of Mk2,500 per connected household for unlimited usage. This is insufficient to fund the project as it costs more to repair the machines if they malfunction than what is raised,” Matola said.