Project Everest


[Problem]: Solar Consulting - Malawi June 2019

Submitted by
Aodhán | 4 months ago | in Solar Consulting (Moyo Energy) - Malawi

Malawi has one of the lowest electricity connection rates in the world, with 89% (16.5 million) of the country not connected to the national electrical grid (ESCOM) and decreases further into rural areas, with only 1% of rural areas being connected to the grid (as of 2018, reference 1). For the minority who are connected, experience regular blackouts, as ESCOM’s energy supply of 439MW is unable to meet the demands of the population. This forces the population to look to other, inadequate solutions to satisfy their energy requirements.

ESCOM is prohibitively expensive and limited in its reach. PEV’s Nancholi survey found that 85% of those surveyed aren’t connected to ESCOM. 87% of these people stated that the cost of installation was the barrier to access, and the remaining 13% stated that the power lines don’t reach their homes.

Lighting was quoted as the main desire for those without access to electricity. This is a small sample size but data from third party sources such as the 2014 Finscope survey show that there are many other people of similar socio-economic status throughout Malawi experiencing the same problems. From further surveys, it was concluded that the current solutions for lighting needs are candles and paraffin. These solutions have been associated with increased health issues, such as asthma. Furthermore, candles and paraffin are a danger hazard to people and their homes. Lack of sufficient lighting reduces children’s ability to study past daylight hours, thus inhibiting their education and future. Moreover, for women living at home, the lack of lighting forces them to complete their housework during daylight hours, which reduces their ability to generate income and thus break the cycle of poverty.

In 2017, mobile phone penetration in Malawi was 38% and growing exponentially, which is linked to the growth of a country’s GDP so access to working mobile phones is vastly important for economic development. The predominant solution for charging phones is going to barber shops and paying K100 per phone charge. However, in doing so, community members have to travel to barber shops for phone charging, they lose potential working hours and inhibit extra costs, which could be better invested into improving their quality of life.

Ref 1:

Andrew Vild 4 months ago

Status label added: Problem

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