Community Energy Malawi (CEM) is a membership based organisation which aims to “Enable communities in Malawi to create sustainable renewable energy solutions to meet their energy needs” CEM achieves this by, The creation and facilitation of a mutually supportive network of community group members and representing members in making the case for the creation of a supportive Government policy and regulatory framework.
CEDP (the precursor to CEM) successfully delivered 46 projects, installed 103 sustainable energy systems, resulting in 20,439 direct beneficiaries. CEDP reached Finalist status for Social Project of the Year at the Association of Project Management Awards. As well as Highly Commended for Community Initiative at the Energy Institute Awards
Testimonials from beneficiaries are shown below.
Moses Gadama is the Chairman of the Energy Committee from Chididi CBO and they have installed Solar PV installations on 4 teacher’s houses and a primary school as well as establishing a solar lanterns selling business. When asked about the impact of the project in the community, Moses commented that “we are in the light, we no longer have to travel long distances to charge phones or to get our hair cut, this can now be done in our community thanks to the electricity from the solar, these new business opportunities are exciting.”
Edgar Bayani, the CEM National Coordinator said ‘We are geared to help communities solve their energy needs. The approach we have taken is unique as it places emphasis on empowerment. I can’t wait to see the longer term benefits to the communities of these 46 projects in the development of Malawi. Community Energy Malawi has a solid foundation.’
When interviewing the Health Manager of the Namanja Health Clinic where Solar Pv was installed it was found that there have been additional benefits to the patients and staff. “Patients usually used candles however most patients are poor and can’t manage to buy one, so solar has been a huge relief. Using a candle during the night is very difficult”, “Some people were scared to come without a candle – they would be chased back – an employee can’t always buy a candle for them. On average the clinic receives 10 candles a month from the government.”
He said that historically he would spend K5000m/ £7 per month on candles at home and at work. Now he saves this money. He is very proud of the solar. “Staff are now able to charge their phones and therefore have a more reliable means by which to call ambulances when necessary. Furthermore, the improved lighting source has improved the wellbeing of staff at the clinic. An employee of the clinic experiences problems with his eyes and cannot suture by candle light. He would routinely need to call the Doctor to perform this task during the night. Now he is able to fully discharge his duties.”
To support CEM see below: Make sure to reference your donation Throwupgallery.