Residents of Njuli in Chiradzulu have asked Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to restore a transformer in the area, which has been non-functional for four months.
In an interview on Tuesday, Father John Kuziona of Njuli Catholic Parish said the transformer developed a fault.
“We have stayed without power for four months, which has affected people’s livelihoods,” he said.
Kuziona said they feel forgotten as efforts by the parish and communities to engage Escom to assist them have proved futile.
“We have been knocking on their doors, but nothing is working. Right now we are facing security challenges such as robberies,” he said.
One of the community members, Jennifer Chatha, said women are travelling long distances to maize mills.
“We appeal to Escom to address the challenge quickly because life has become unbearable,” she said.
But in a separate interview, Escom spokesperson Kitty Chingota blamed vandalism of transformers for the delay to install another one.
She said: “It is becoming costly for the corporation to replace them.
“Escom is importing over 200 transformers to replace those that are not working, spending about K8 million on each transformer.”
Chingota said there are a number of factors that could lead to the delay in the procurement of transformers, which include logistical challenges and shortage of foreign exchange.
Escom is losing an average of five transformers per week due to theft and vandalism. The electricity supplier lost revenue estimated at K1 billion between 2019 and June 2020 due to vandalism of transformers. n