06 November 2015, Lilongwe – Malawians should brace for more frequent electricity blackouts following a statement issued by Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) which states that generation capacity at its Nkula and Tedzani Hydro power stations has gone down by 50 percent.
Escom stipulates that this is due to low water levels in Lake Malawi and low flows in the Shire river.
The country’s generation capacity now stands at 211.04 megawatts against a demand of 278 megawatts.
Malawians will be more irked because Escom is not even providing a specific time frame when the nation should expect normal electricity supply.
However, a professor of economics at Chancellor College, Ben Kalua told The Daily Times that this development will be disastrous as the situation brings serious risks to the already disjointed economy.
For instance, Kalua said as the country continues to experience unrealible power supply, more and more people are employing their own capacity to generate power.
“The energy sector is very critical to the economy as it is one of the key areas foreign investors consider before bringing their investment to any country. And it is not realistic for Malawi to channel more resources towards importation of things like generators when we have the capacity to generate our own energy here at home,”Kalua was quoted in paper.
Meanwhile most Malawians have asked Escom management to end these frequent blackouts because they are affecting small scale businesses like saloons, barbershops and welding.
John Kuzizwa, who operate a barbershop in Bangwe township said their business has been affected because they spend a day without electricity.
He also said Escom is not following their load-shedding time table.
“They switch off lights at their own will without following the time table which they gave us themselves,” he said.
*Jeromy Kadewere – Nyasa Times