Nkwichi Blog

Lights on!!

16th of August 2015 was a memorable day in the administrative post of Cobue, Lake district, Niassa Province. A town with an estimated population of 3000 situated on Lake Niassa for the first time experienced the joy of electricity. This will change many lives forever.

The process has been a protracted one, Francisco da Silva, a resident for more than forty years recalls the many false dawns the last few years has brought, he invested in an iron five years ago believing the project would be completed in a matter of months – alas the iron was still wrapped in the box until one sunny August day, his wife Amelia ironed his shirt for the first time in their married life.

Traditionally, paraffin lamps were the main source of light until a government initiative introduced Solar energy to a select few. The arrival of energy means everyone has an opportunity to have access to a basic need.

Cobue is a time warp, a funnel into old Mozambique during the Portuguese colonial era. Remnants from this can still be seen even today. It serves as a bordering town with Lake Niassa separating Mozambique and Malawi. For many years now, Likoma island 4 kilometres away has had electricity which has been a constant source of pain for many residents of Cobue, as one man put it, with this new development, I now look forward to the end of the day so I can put my feet up, have a cold beverage and watch my football game.