Malawi is one of the least electrified countries in the world. Only 18% of Malawi’s 18.14 million inhabitants have access to electricity (11.4% provided by the grid network; 6.6% provided through off-grid energy solutions).
Whilst John’s efforts had been innovative in the design of the mini-hydro plant to divert water from the head of the Manchewe river waterfall to operate a generator coupled with hydraulic turbine to provide electricity for the community, the CESET team provided technical advice and funding to buy materials to introduce technical improvements to protect the plant and its future reliability.
John consulted with the households to survey what they needed electricity for, noting many were relying on electricity for cooking as deforestation sadly continued. He then used this information to determine which households required 15A or 30A and business and factories were allocated 63A.
Recent improvements included installation of:
John was pleased to report that the new system was working really well, and they had not had any problems with the new transformer.
Currently over 100 households were being supplied with electricity, along with the Mushroom Farm, tourist camp, a home craft centre with bakery and tailoring, the maze mill, a barber shop, bottles stores and bars. More households and business were showing interest in connecting to the system. With the pipe infrastructure already in place, future plans included buying a bigger generator to produce 170-200 kvA.