Mchinji — Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) has urged small scale entrepreneurs to set up small petroleum pump stations in communities to ease access to petroleum products among rural communities.
MERA's Public Relations Officer, Patrick Maulidi said the move would avert illegal sale and storage of petroleum products as communities would be able to access the products at a convenient distance from them.
Maulidi made the appeal over the weekend during a day-long training in the district on illegal sale and storage of petroleum products.
"This time around, MERA is encouraging small-scale business, companies and individuals to invest their funds in the business which is affordable to sustain their financial stand as well as improving sanity in the petroleum industry," he said.
He said MERA organised the training as response to the Mchinji Police complaints that it has recorded high rate of incidents related to illegal selling, storage and smuggling of the products since the district borders Zambia and Mozambique as well.
"Malawi Government, through MERA has set requirements that every service provider in the industry should acquire license from the authority as one way of protecting people's lives, individuals and public property as well as natural resources," Maulidi said.
Mchinji Police Station Officer, Joyce Mazalo, commended MERA for quick response, saying it would reduce such malpractices in the district.
Mazalo also said the training has made the police officers to have sound knowledge on issues related to the Energy Regulatory Act.
In his remarks, Senior Group Village Head Mchilumba, called on MERA and the police to strengthen sensitisation campaign on the illegal sale of petroleum products across the district.
"The cases of illegal sale and storage of the products is rampant due to increase of motor cycles in our areas. I, therefore, request you to start with the campaign rather than enforcing the law first," he said.