Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (Egenco) has stepped up its catchment restoration efforts as part of mitigating siltation and debris which affect hydro electric power generation at its stations located on the Shire river.
Malawi’s hydro power generation takes place along the Shire river. Most of the water originates from Lake Malawi. However, in recent years human degradation in most of the catchment areas in the Shire highlands has resulted in most land turning to bear grounds.
Egenco Chief Executive Officer, William Liyabunya made the remarks Friday [26th, March, 2021] during a tree planting exercise held at Lirangwe in Blantyre. The exercise was conducted in partnership with the Association of Environmental Journalists along the Lirangwe river at Chilipa village in Traditional Authority Chigalu in Blantyre district.
Liyabunya was hopeful the exercise will go a long way in containing the problem of siltation now rampant mainly along Shire river. This is the main source of water for the production of hydro electric power in the country.
"Planting of these three thousand tree seedlings signifies our commitment in dealing with the problem of siltation. This is affecting production rate of hydro electric power especially during rainy seasons,” Liabunya explained.
"We have spent close to MK10 billion in clearing debris in our power production sites countrywide. We are doing this to ensure that we are able to generate efficient power to cater the ever growing demand from consumers," he added while thanking all the partners that came to grace the initiative.
Taking his turn, guest of honour at the event Minister of Energy Newton Kambala applauded Egenco for stepping up ecosystem restoration efforts to increase hydro power generation in the country.
According to Kambala, electricity is one of the driving forces to economic development hence the need of exploring various strategies of increasing generation capacity to achieve developmental goals like vision 2063.
Meanwhile, government through his ministry has stepped up efforts in establishing additional power production sites to make sure the country has abundant and efficient electricity.
He also added that currently discussions are at an advanced stage with neighbouring countries of Mozambique and Zambia on power sharing deals that would see Malawi taping power from its neighbours. Vice president of Association of Environmental Journalists, Wezzie Chamanza one of Egenco partners thanked the energy generation company for taking an active role in conserving the environment.
"EGENCO has been one of our truely and trusted partners in our efforts of advocating and conserving environment. These trees that have been planted today along the Lirangwe river bank apart from helping reducing siltation of rivers, will go a long way in conserving the environment." "Moving forward as AEJ we are also asking other relevant stalkeholders to join forces in such initiatives as one way of mitigating effects climate change." said Chamanza.