Access to renewable energy for the rural areas of Malawi

The project is promoted by COOPI, the main organisation for Italian international cooperation as regards the management of the projects' fund (€ 39 million) and one of the most experienced entities in the sector (45 years of activities on site). Currently, it operates in 21 countries with 193 humanitarian projects of which 98 are emergency projects and 95 development projects.

SEA participates in the project as a private financial partner in order to supplement the funds assigned to COOPI by the European Union amounting to approximately 80% of the total value of the project.

This project aims at promoting the adoption and use of renewable energy by undertaking the training and awareness building of the communities where they will be used. All of this in pursuit of the objective of ensuring access to electricity to the highest number of people, slowing down the deforestation process, improving the quality of life of the people involved and promoting the development of small businesses that will profit from this resource.

The activities contemplated by the project are:

  1. Training and awareness building in the communities (approximately 8,000 people) as regards the construction and use of cost-efficient kitchens.
  2. At the site of 6 dams, construction of 6 water towers, 6 meters high; setting up of 6 Committees entrusted with the management and maintenance thereof; supply of 6 energy solar pumps, water tanks and pipelines (as a loan); monitoring revenue increase, part of which will be used for maintenance (10%) and part for paying back the loan within 3 years. The loan restitution will be subsequently used to propose the same activities to another 6 communities in the same Kasungu district.
  3. Supply of: 20 solar panels to other villages; 2 manual presses that will enable 20 communities to extract oil from jatrophia seeds; 5 motors run by clean fuel obtained from corn and other products for small local businesses; Training and planning as regards the management of timber resources from the surrounding forest; supply of 1,000 units of small solar panels (75 Wh) for domestic use as an incentive to the families involved so as to encourage the planting of new jatrophia trees and other local trees in a deforested 20 km area; supply of seeds, technical support, monitoring and planning of this reforestation.
  4. (Likoma island) loan to be paid back within 3 years for 1 solar panel and 1 wind generator; training on the use and maintenance thereof. The energy supplied will be used for local business activities.
  5. Supply of 5 large solar panels (2000 Wh) providing power to 5 schools; training of school administrators on fund raising for the maintenance of equipment and awareness building of the students regarding renewable energy.

The project will span a period of 4 years, starting July 2011.

SEA has opted to support COOPI in this initiative in view of the important results that the company is achieving in the reduction of power consumption and consequently in the reduction of its own carbon footprint. Between 2009 and 2010, SEA has saved 9600 megawatts as a result of its power saving projects. Since 2011, it has been seeking, ideally, to transfer these savings to developing countries within a context of international cooperation and easier access to renewable energy which represents an important element in achieving the mission of sustainability, connectivity and rapid physical-geographical accessibility, typical of an international airport.