JB dares authorities on electricity access, tariffs

Former Malawi president Joyce Banda has tipped authorities in the energy sector to make electricity accessible to all Malawians in a bid to lessen the pressure on natural resources.

Banda who is also leader of People’s Party (PP) was speaking at a political rally held on Sunday at Nankhuni ground in Zomba Chisi constituency.

She said the country’s environment including trees will remain in danger of being cut carelessly due to shortage of alternative sources of energy for household use.

Banda alleged that most people in the country do not have access to electricity due to exorbitant electricity tariffs.

The ex-Malawi leader said if more Malawians can have access to electricity at a reasonable cost, the damage on other resources such as trees will be minimized.

She faulted government on this saying it is doing little to improve the situation.

Outlining solutions to the problem, Banda said tree planting alone cannot solve the problem of deforestation but rather giving those involved in cutting trees some money to start other businesses apart from burning charcoal.

She went on to say that access to other sources of energy, solar power for instance, can help deal with the vice.

Banda has since promised to distribute solar panels to all rural masses for cooking thereby reducing the number of households that depend on charcoal as source of income and energy.

Statistics have shown that Malawi’s access to electricity in rural areas falls below 15%, one of the lowest in the region, according to government.

Experts have argued that situation negatively impacts on the environment and economic development of the country.

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