Lilongwe — The Minister of Natural Resources Energy and Mining, Aggrey Masi has warned people to avoid vandalizing Escom equipment saying repairing vandalized gadgets is expensive.
He was speaking at Chigona Primary School ground, Traditional Authority Mlauli in Neno after switching on Chigona Marep Phase 8 Power line on Friday.
"Government is doing all it can to make sure that even the remotest areas like Chigona are connected to electricity so that life is also made simple for the rural masses. But it becomes disheartening when after all is done, some evil minded people come and vandalize what has been installed for their own selfish reasons," he said.
Masi said buying spare parts for vandalized equipment becomes expensive as government has to use money that would have otherwise been channeled to other development initiatives for the repairs.
He said the electricity that has been switched on at Chigona and other rural areas throughout the country is meant to transform rural people's living standards for the better so that they do not migrate to the urban areas.
"It is government's intention that those of you living in rural areas should also be able to enjoy the luxury of electricity right in your communities so that you do not have the hustle of going to town for modern facilities," he said.
The minister reminded people of Ndawala initiative that seeks to help those that cannot afford to wire their houses to have that opportunity through Escom.
"What you need to do is simply go to Escom and tell them you want to be connected through Ndawala. They will come to inspect your house, wire it and get it connected to electricity without you initially paying for the expenses," explained Masi.
He said the expenses incurred in the whole process would later be recovered by government in reasonable amounts from the electricity units the owner of the dwelling unit would be buying from Escom.
Traditional Authority Mlauli said the switching on of Chigona Power line will form a hub of a number of development initiatives in his area that will include income generating activities.
"I know people now will start thinking about engaging in various small scale businesses like hair dressing salons, welding shops, video show rooms and even sale of cold drinks," he said.
He said above all, there are prospects that some business people will come and plant their maize mills in the area which he said will ease the burden women have been having of travelling long distances to grind their maize.
Under Marep Phase 8, government has managed to connect a total of 336 centres to electricity with additional 200 expected to be connected soon.