The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has admitted challenges in resolving faults in time attributing the drawback to logistical challenges.
Speaking on Saturday when Energy Minister Ibrahim Matola visited the corporation’s help-line centres in Blantyre, Escom call centre manager, Kitty Chingota said they are now working on rectifying the challenge by opening subzones and setting up a call centre and toll free line.
She said through the system, Escom will be able to improve its service delivery as through call centres, staff will attend to more customers at once and that the sub-zones will be closer to the people.
Said Chingota: “It has always been a challenge to get to where the customers are, mainly due to logistical challenges and the spread of our customers.
“For example, we have four fault centres in Blantyre, and they have a wide stretch, it has become a challenge for our staff to attend to all the reported faults with probably two or three vehicles.”
In his remarks, Matola said he will discuss with Escom authorities on finding a lasting solution to the challenges.
“I have been hearing people complaining of spending up to a week without being attended to after reporting a fault. I am here to understand their challenges and what can be done to make sure customers are served effectively and efficiently,” he said.
Matola further challenged Malawians to safeguard and look after Escom property such as transformers by avoiding and reporting vandalism, saying most faults are due to vandalism.
He said he is in discussion with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority to speed up the procurement processes for transformers so that people are not denied electricity.
Recently, Escom disclosed it is losing an average of five transformers per week due to vandalism.
The electricity power supplier said transformer vandalism is leading to loss of Escom revenue which also cripples service delivery in health, education and private sectors.
The increase in cases of theft and vandalism deprived Escom of revenue estimated at K1 billion between 2019 and June 2020.