President Peter Mutharika has ordered that there should be regular checks on electrical installations in the country’s markets to ensure that there are no faults that could spark fires.
The directive comes after a series of market fires that have destroyed property worth billions of kwacha in recent months. Some of the fires are suspected to have been caused by electrical faults while others are yet to be established.
Speaking in an interview on Sunday, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa said the President has instructed his office to meet Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) chief executive officer on the fires that are burning down markets.
He said the President wants electrical routine checks to be carried out on all markets that have electricity lines to ensure that there are no faults.
Nankhumwa said engineers in the country have also expressed interest to help on the routine checks to ensure that issues of standards are complied with.
However, he said not all fires can be attributed to electrical faults like some people claim. He said some of the fires were suspicious.
To get to the bottom of the matter, Nankhumwa said security agents have also intensified investigations on the fires.
Escom director of distribution Peter Ntonda said the directive to have routine checks is a welcome development because it will help address faults and curb possible fire cases as well as accusations against Escom where it is not at fault.