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CEM Cements Relationship With Partner Organization, CES

Just like on any other day, Community Energy Malawi (CEM), met with its partner organization, Community Energy Scotland (CES) on Friday, September 1, 2018 to further discuss on how they can continue working together. The meeting took place at CEM’s offices in Lilongwe. In a partnership that is now six years, the two organizations shared ideas on how to further work together.

The meeting had all CEM staff members led by its Country Director, Edgar Kapiza Bayani with CES being represented by Mark Hull, Rona MacKay and Gillian Wilson. Led by CEM, the three went and visited some projects across the country like in Nya Mvuu and Mandrade Energy Kiosk in Chikwawa, Kasangazi Mini Hydro in Mzimba and Sitolo in Mchinji where CEM is about to roll out another Mini Grid.

Presently, the two organizations are about to collaborate in the Powering Isolated Territories with Hydrogen Power Systems (PITCHES) project. The project aims to integrate with the pre-existing Surf ‘n’ Turf and BIG HIT projects in Orkney as a basis for assessing the market potential for renewable hydrogen systems serving remote communities, including those in sub-Saharan Africa, Malawi in particular.

Speaking during the meeting, Mark Hull recognized the cordial relationship that has existed over the years between the two organizations. He also praised CEM's capacity in delivering its projects and predicted a bright future in other coming project partnerships. In conclusion, Mark said that the two will continue working together, especially in the recent PITCHES project for Malawi to explore the potential of renewable hydrogen systems.

12 Megawatts (MW) added to Nkula A on trial.

With just two months to go before the $350.7 million (about K257 billion) energy compact winds up, Millenium Challenge Account - Malawi (MCA - M), a local implementing agency, has said that works are within schedule with 12 MW already added to the national power grid. The five year grant provided by the US Government will see Malawi revamping its energy sector through rehabilitation of Nkula A and modernization of transmission and distribution lines to enhance electricity supply. It is expected that all the substations and new lines, plus works at Nkula A and other sites to be completed on  20 September, according to Zilani Khonje, MCA - M Communications and Outreach Director. 

(Source: The Nation newspaper, 20th July, 2018, pages 13 - 14)

CEM attended Nsamala ADC meeting on 27 September 2017 in Balaka.in this meeting community energy Malawi (CEM) helped the community to be thinking of energy as a priority doing their Village Area Planning manual.in this ADC they have many schools without electricity as CEM advised them to start thinking of solar energy as a major solution energy solution.

 

This is Ntengachako irrigation scheme in Balaka, in this scheme they use small treadle pumps. CEM visited it and adviced the irrigation scheme members to buy a solar water pumping system for it will be saving time and energy for members for other developments.

 

Learning journeys was an activity organised with the aim of strengthening networking and peer to peer interaction between and among CBOs as well as experience and skill sharing of old and new CBOs. The learning journeys were conducted in 6 districts, namely, Balaka, Chitipa, Neno Nsanje, Phalombe and Machinga. New CBOs toured projects that old CBOs are overseeing to appreciate as well as learn from the projects. Each learning journey constituted 30 members from old CBOs and 15 participants from new CBOs including Village Heads The learning journeys had several topics under discussions, some which include Impacts of solar projects on communities, measures/financial models that old CBOs put in place in order to ensure sustainability of the projects, challenges on projects and possible solution to projects challenges. CEM officers facilitated the meetings whilst the hosting CBO took a leading role in sharing different issues in regards to the projects.

As a way of ensuring sustainability of projects, Community Energy Malawi conducted capacity building trainings in its 12 partnering Community Based Organiations (CBOs). The 12 CBOs are; Chiwinzi CBO in Ntchisi, Mnzona CBO in Dowa, Lipenga CBO in Lilongwe, Kuntiyani CBO in Balaka, Umodzi CBO in Machinga, Longwe CBO in Phalombe, Chididi CBO in Neno, Chibothera CBO in Nkhotakota, Fwasani CBO in Mzimba, Ndife amodzi CBO in Likoma, Maukako CBO in Chitipa and Namikango CBO in Nsanje. The major topics of the training were; General CBO Management, Community Energy Planning, PV Operation and Maintenance, Financial/Business Management and Efficient Cookstove Operation and Maintenance. The trainings targeted 20 people from each CBO in consideration of gender. In general, the trainings were successful and the participants reported that they will put the gained knowledge to use.