The construction of power transmission line, which is under the infrastructure development project financed by Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) compact funding, is expected to affect about 3 278 households in Ntcheu, Dedza and Lilongwe.
Edith Maseya, resettlement specialist at Millennium Challenge Account—Malawi (MCA-M), the implementing agency of the compact programme, said this last week when she briefed traditional authorities and members of district resettlement and grievance management committee in Ntcheu on a 173-kilometre power transmission line, which will run from Phombeya in Balaka to Nkhoma in Lilongwe.
“According to our assessment, it has been established that about 3 278 households, a population of about 11 000, and 54 dwelling houses will be affected by the 400 kilovolts electric power transmission line project,” she said.
Maseya said the project has put in place compensation mechanisms for the households whose dwelling houses would be affected.
“In this compensation schedule, the affected households are at liberty to choose whether they like to be given money equivalent to their property or to be provided with a permanent house at an area of their choice,” she said.
Earlier, MCA-M said it has set aside $5 million (about K2.2 billion) to compensate households to be affected by its transmission network upgrade.
The project, designed to improve quality and reliability of power supply in the country, will also construct 132kv power line, which will run parallel to existing 66kv and 33kv lines from Chintheche in Nkhata Bay to Bwengu in Mzimba, passing through Mzuzu.
Maseya said 17 percent of the affected people are the elderly, widows and disabled who are also poverty-stricken.
She said for the poverty- stricken households, the project will devise ways and means of improving the households’ economic status by providing them with funds for small-scale income-generating activities.
“During implementation of any construction project, grievances from both the contractor and the affected communities are eminent; hence, the establishment of district resettlement and grievance management committees in the concerned districts,” said Maseya.
She said the committees will be mandated to handle and settle the project- related grievances to ensure smooth implementation.
The $350.7 million (about K156 billion) project commenced with preparatory groundwork in September 2013 and it is expected to run up to 2018.—Mana