Two academic staff members at the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) have received a grant of K30 million from the United Nations Development Program in Malawi and the Environmental Affairs Department (EAD) to develop an alternative energy source at Lizulu market in Ntcheu.
The two researchers are Mr Hope Chamdimba of the Energy Resources Department in the Ndata School of Climate and Earth Sciences (NSCES) and Dr Ella Kangaude-Nkata of the Applied Studies Department at the Malawi Institute of Technology (MIT). They will be supervised by two officials, one from National Commission for Science and Technology and another from Mzuzu University.
According to Chamdimba, who is the principal investigator (PI) in the project, said UNDP and EAD are funding their project under the Climate Change Research and Applied Innovation Window which seeks to enhance Malawi’s adoption of technologies and approaches that stimulate low carbon development and facilitate green growth.
“The UNDP and EAD made the first call for proposals under this initiative in September, 2019 where MUST, through Energy Resources Department was one of some 29 applicants for the grant. We submitted a proposal on commercialisation of biogas at Lizulu market in Ntcheu and fortunately, our team was one of the five to be awarded US$40,000 per team,” said Chamdimba, adding that the MUST proposed project seeks to use market waste to generate biogas that will be sold around Lizulu and in the process solving waste and energy challenges.
The award ceremony for the grants, organised by the UNDP and EAD, was held at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) on October 26, 2020 and was, among others, attended by Honourable Nancy Tembo, Minister responsible for Environment and UNDP Resident Representative in Malawi, Shigeki Komatsubara.
The dummy cheque was presented to Chamdimba and Dr Kangaude-Nkata, the project’s co-principal investigator.
In their remarks, both Tembo and Komatsubara congratulated the awardees and urged them to contribute to Malawi’s sustainable development through their proposed climate innovations in line with government policies.
The project implementation period is one year from October, 2020 and the MUST team will work with Green Technologies Impact on the commercialisation part.