We all know that Malawi faces electricity challenges. The way to solve this challenge is to solve one problem after another block by block, with some of them in parallel.
In the Rise and Shine fraternity, we like to give credit where it is due. And now, credit is due to Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) of Malawi and their chief executive officer Engineer William Liabunya and so we must give them their credit.
Credit is due to them because they were implementing a big and complex project at least by levels of Malawi. This project was the installation of electrical power generation systems at Tedzani. The project commenced on June 11 2017 and it was planned to be completed and commissioned on September 23 2021. By design, these additional machines were to add 18 megawatts (MW) of power to our national electricity grid.
However, by being so organised and working hard, the Egenco team, led by Engineer William Liabunya has exceeded two targets. First, they have completed and commissioned the new plant on June 7 2021 some four months ahead of schedule. Remember that even when people are simply building a house or toilet, they almost never finish before the planned or expected time of completion. There are always delays. And in this period of Covid-19 pandemic, delays are the order of the day due to its impact on health and safety measures as well as moving good especially from abroad into Malawi.
Secondly, by optimising the systems and other related things, Egenco has commissioned 19 Megawatts of power, which is one more megawatt than was originally designed.
The two feats above mean that Egenco management were very serious with this project. Such big results cannot come about by accident or sheer luck. Of course, it also means that the firm which was contracted to do the job did a good job and also the consulting firm too. For the two to do a good job it means management selected the right firms for the jobs not those that gave them big good ‘khaki’ envelopes. We see it many times.
At risk of being blamed for generalisation, at times projects delay or are implemented below expected quality standards because management are compromised in the procurement and selection of the contractors and other firms used. We have seen roads breaking apart months after they were constructed and meant to last years. We have seen roads that take forever to complete constructing.
So, while we complain a lot about many things failing in Malawi from electricity to roads, cashgate to lack o medicines in hospitals and lack of school blocks or chalk and so on, today we have one reason to celebrate. Today, we have one reason to rejoice and feel great again. Today we have one reason to believe that ‘Yes, we too can do it!” Egenco and Engineer Liabunya have shown us the way.
This therefore is meant to inspire others to emulate the good example of the leader of Egenco. Like Egenco did, we too can be ambitious and driven and complete our projects or tasks well ahead of schedule and produce output of better quality than expected. It all starts in the mind. What standards do you set for yourself? Do you aim for very high standards or not?
Last week, I was chatting with a very successful person. He said something very important to me: “Success comes when we stretch ourselves, when we go the extra mile.” Are you stretching yourself like did Egenco and Engineer Liabunya or you are operating within your comfort zone and at average levels as expected by society and those to whom you are answerable?
This is a call to everyone who reads this column to aim to always stretch ourselves. Let us aim very high. Let us believe that we can exceed expectations and that we can complete our work ahead of schedule so that we embark on the next task earlier and keep achieving ahead of schedule again and again! Good luck as you emulate the good examples set by Egenco, Engineer Liabunya and his entire project team!