People of Chipomola in Traditional Authority Kampingo Sibande in Mzimba have taken to task a consultant for the Germany Droege Energy project for failing to kick-off an ambitious 12 billion kwacha ($150 million) windmill project three years after the promise was made.
The community's high hopes have been dwarfed by the deafening silence from the project officials and the project site whose land was given the communities remain deserted.
In an interview on Friday a community leader at Chipumulo village, Chaphangira Nyangu told this reporter they are facing growing doubts on the feasibility of the project.
Said Nyangu:” In August, 2018 the investor briefed, traditional leader, Inkosi Sibande, village development committees, women and pupils that the project was going to start in January, 2019, but it’s now three years down the line, there is no progress.”
Said Nyangu: In August 2018 the investor briefed, traditional leader, Inkosi Sibande, village development committees, women and pupils that the project was going to start in January, 2019, but it’s now three years down the line, there is no progress.”
Chaphangira said the project was aimed at boosting energy sector by generating electricity which would spar development in his area by creating jobs, ending inefficient production of unsustainable use of biomass energy that contributed to environmental degradation such as high deforestation, desertification and soil erosion leading to effects of climate change and could not afford to lose it.
In a separate interview, Inkosi Sibande confirmed the project has not yet started.
“I engaged the investors and facilitated the provision of land for the development ” Explained Sibande, adding since that time Droege officials have not come again leaving everyone in suspense.
When contacted, the project consultant, Dr Mabvuto Tembo, asked people for their patience saying the company is currently close to securing financing.
“We are working on some activities of land acquisition. We have done land survey and next is compensation roll,” said Tembo, while dismissing potential land disputes as one of the possible reasons holding the commencement of the project.
He said besides improving energy supply, people will benefit improved road-networks, technical college, and quality water system, among others.
In 2018 when the project was being introduced to the community, Droege told journalists that to achieve electricity generation; his company will need a lot of money to erect 150 turbines at Chipumulo besides floating solar power system in Nkhata-Bay at Chintheche in Lake Malawi to generate 50 megawatts and another 20 megawatts in Lake Malawi at Monkey-Bay in Mangochi.