Malawians battle with up to 8 hours of load shedding a day

Electricity blackouts continue to haunt Malawians for several hours every day and every night as the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) battles to keep the lights on.

Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has described the current incessant power outages and fuel scarcity as a “temporary headache.”

Chakwera recently spokewhile he presided over the official opening of the 2022 Malawi Investment Forum (MIF) in Lilongwe. Chakwera said following the meeting he held with energy gurus in the country, the government has already secured $28 million (about R496.7 million) facility from local banks towards importing more fuel into the country.

Chakwera also said government was also in pursuit of another $50 million-facility for the same.

“I know that the current shortage of fuel is affecting manufacturing, business, work, and domestic life and I want to assure you that we are seized of this matter to ensure that there is a product in the service station in the short term, while we work on long term forex issues that are at the root of this problem,” said the president.

Last month, Malawi Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola broke down in tears at a press conference where his ministry, as well as electricity companies, EGENCO and ESCOM, failed to provide an immediate solution to persistent blackouts.

Matola held a press briefing together with ESCOM and EGENCO officials, where they reiterated that the current blackouts would end in December upon the restoration of 130 Megawatts at Kapichira Power Station, which was damaged by floods in January.

Matola said politicians have been siphoning resources out of power utility companies for years and, in some instances, forced the utility companies to misprocure and bypass laws governing the operations of the companies, citing a report by Malawi24.

The minister suspected that there was possible sabotage, political influence or negligence at the companies, and he warned that those responsible would be smoked out, according to the minister.

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