Jul 21, 2017 Last Updated 2:00 PM, Jul 21, 2017

About 336 trading centres in the country could soon have electricity through phase eight of the Malawi Rural electrification Project-Marep.

The Minister of Natural Resources Bright Msaka revealed this in parliament on Tuesday.

He was speaking in response to a request by Karonga South Parliamentarian, Malani Ntonga, for the ministry to consider installing electricity at Fuliwa Health Centre in Karonga.

According to Msaka, the government considers electricity as being key to development and socio-economic growth.

He pointed out that the Marep 8 would target all the 193 constituencies in the country, including Karonga South.

Early this year it Capital Hill revealed that over MK30 billion had been secured through the Rural Electrification fund for Marep 8.

During implementation Marep 7 MK8 billion was used with 137 centers across the country electrified.

It is expected that implementation of Marep 8 will commence next month.

 The Marep project is aimed at increasing access to electricity for rural and peri-urban communities in the country in a bid to transform rural economies and reduce poverty.

Ironically, it coincides a time Malawi is still grappling with energy woes as electricity demand has in the recent past increased sharply.

The Ministry of energy has Escom and other private companies on contract to install electricity in the targeted rural areas.

Malawi’s installed power supply is now pegged at around 351 megawatts in normal circumstances, while demand is at 360 megawatts.

Statistics indicate that Malawi’s energy generation requirement will escalate to 829 megawatts come 2020.

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