Chief tells Card to walk the solar talk


Traditional Authority (T/A) Chimombo of Nsanje on Monday took a swipe at organisations that launch projects but fail to implement them.

Chimombo lamented that several organisations launched different projects in his area which are yet to take off.

He said this in Blantyre when Church Action in Relief and Development (Card) launched a four-year Sustainable Energy for Rural Communities project which seeks to increase access to energy among rural masses.

The Card project will use solar panels like these
The Card project will use solar panels like these

The project, to be implemented in Nsanje and Chikwawa in Malawi and Gwanda in Zimbabwe, is being funded by the European Union (EU) and other partners including Practical Action, Environment Africa and Hivos.

“Most of the NGOs are good at writing proposals and launching projects, but when it comes to planting the project on the ground, they are not seen or heard anywhere. So I am urging Card to finish this project we are launching today,” said Chimombo.

Card executive director Melton Luhanga said the organisation prioritised the two districts because of their high levels of deforestation for firewood and charcoal.

He said the organisation believes that once people are provided with alternative sources of energy, they would stop relying on trees as a source of energy for cooking.

“We realised that Nsanje has many water bodies that can be used to pump water for irrigation, so we thought of taking advantage of the sun to generate solar power for irrigation,” said Luhanga.

“We are also connecting some trading centres to solar energy and establishing kiosks where people can charge phones and batteries.”

He said about 30 000 people will benefit from the project in the two districts. n

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