President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera says Malawians should not only count themselves privileged to be alive and to be part of developments such Tedzani Hydo Power station but also count themselves blessed to be alive to see them.
Dr. Chakwera said 1000 megawatts would be added to the grid over the next 4 years saying commissioning of the Tedzani Power Station is 19 megawatts down and 981 to go, expecting the officials at the Ministry of Energy not to allow Malawians to lose this momentum or miss their targets.
He stated the country has suffered power shortages for far too long and should not be expected to wait any longer as allowing Malawi to continue living in the dark ages is not a mindset he will tolerate in his Administration as this will affect the country’s vision to create jobs, create wealth and create food security.
Speaking at the commissioning of Tedzani 1V Hydro Power Station in Blantyre, President Dr. Chakwera said if Malawians do not get things right in their power supply service, they will miss the ambitious target of Malawi 2063 to become a middle-income country and it will continue to lose lives needlessly in their hospitals every time the electricity goes out.
Dr. Chakwera further said that if Malawians do not get things right in their power supply service, food items in urban households will continue being lost to decay from lack of refrigeration and Malawians will not have the electricity to exploit the rich mineral deposits the country has.
He cited as a case in point, when the Kayerekera Uranium mine was in play, mining activities were carried out using diesel generators which is not an approach that a nation with serious and substantial development goals should entertain.
The President added that in the Agriculture sector, where Government has ambitious goals of creating industries that add value to the raw crops farmers work hard to produce, that goal of agricultural industrialization, mechanization and commercialization is pointless if they do not have electricity to support.
He said in the absence of adequate electricity, communities continue depending on firewood, and charcoal for cooking which has greatly contributed to the depletion of the country’s forests saying the adverse effects of climate change phenomena is in their midst, including changing weather patterns that reduce their agricultural productivity.
“…I identified and called for investments in the energy sector as one of my Administration’s accelerators towards that vision of creating jobs, create wealth and create food security…,’’ said President Dr. Chakwera.
President Chakwera then gave thanks to the Government of Japan for leading the way in assisting the call saying the power station is the fruit of a true partnership with the Government of Japan contributing MK50 Billion and Malawi contributing MK6 Billion.
Speaking earlier, President Chakwera said he was given a sobering reminder of what a treasure life is upon his arrival in Blantyre where a military vehicle that travels at the tail end of his motorcade overturned into a gully killing two soldiers on board and injuring several others; adding he was also aware that during construction of the commissioned power station, the country lost two people who lent their hands to the realization of this project, Mr. Yasar Gunduz and Mr. Laurent Mwabungulu.
Dr. Chakwera called for a minute of silence to honor the memories of the departed and ended their tour of national service with distinction.
By; Vincent Gunde