Malawi: Marep 8 Extension Lights Up Rural Mulanje

Mulanje — People in the areas of senior chiefs Mabuka and Chikumbu on Thursday could not hide their excitement following the coming of electricity to their areas.

The connection of the areas to the Electiricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) power grid follows the extension of Malawi Rural Electrification Project 8 (MAREP) to the two areas.

MAREP is aimed at ensuring that people in the remotest areas of the country are also connected to the national power grid.

Speaking during the official electricity lighting up ceremony at Misuli and Ntata, Chief Director in the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Mining Chimwemwe Banda said MAREP offers many business opportunities to people in the areas.

She said electricity is a priority in the socio-economic development of communities.

"With the electricity, people will venture into several businesses that require electricity and this will in turn change their livelihoods," Banda said.

She added that this will also contribute to the development of rural growth centres that government is advocating for.

Senior Chief Mabuka commended government for bringing electricity to the area saying this will improve people's livelihoods.

Director of Planning and Development for Mulanje Mercy Mpakule said the coming of electricity in the area corresponds well with the district's plans.

Mpakule said following the development, Mulanje will be able to meet its plans of having 15 percent of the total population having access to electricity by 2022.

MAREP 8 has connected electricity to 336 sites across the country, with an additional of 270 sites in the project extension.

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