Cold weather affects solar-powered Mills


By Nation Reporter

A Bauleni solar-powered hammer mill is battling cold weather as it tries to supply the community with mealie meal.

According to Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF) mill operator, Royd Kanyungu, generating power is becoming a problem, due to the low temperatures and cloud cover brought about by the winter season.

“It’s getting cold now. When you see clouds, you know it will affect the process,” said Mr Kanyungu.

The hammer mill has been operating for almost two months and usually produces 50 kg of mealie meal in 15 minutes.

Operators are able to monitor the amount of heat generated by solar panels and then operate once they have reached recommended energy levels, but if it is below par, then it is necessary to stop operating in order to avoid damaging the machinery.

Mr. Kanyungu assured the people that despite slower production, the machine was still operating well, distributing maize meal to shops as well as Bauleni residents.

“The community allows us to produce because when we produce we cater to a large number of the community,” said Mr. Kanyungu.

He added that the solar mill also did toll milling which allowed farmers to bring their maize grain to be produced at a fee or ‘toll’.

“This is a very good initiative,” he said.

The commissioning of the solar mill has pleased residents of Bauleni, who commended Government as it has helped reduce prices of mealie meal to K66 per 25 kg.