Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) customers continue to express their dissatisfaction over extended blackouts that have resurfaced despite the country receiving heavy rains.
Last year, Escom, which relies on water to generate electricity, warned its customers to brace for more blackouts as a result of low water levels in the Shire River where Escom generates over 90 percent of its electricity.
The power utility provider, which said the situation might worsen from September to December last year, hinted that customers will be relieved after improvements in the water levels in the Shire following the rainy season.
The power outages have since worsened with some parts of the country facing over 12 hours of blackouts, a situation that has crippled businesses that rely on Escom power supply.
Lucy Kaliati, a salon owner in Blantyre says she expected the blackouts to ease by now since the country has been receiving persistent rains.
“The blackouts have affected us badly as in the past months we have had less customers. Most of our customers abandoned us and opted for salons that have other sources of power supply like generators,” Kaliati said.
But in their statement floated in the press at the weekend, Electricity Generation Company (Egenco), a firm that emerged as a result of the split of Escom into two as part of the energy sector reform, says that the water flow at Liwonde is being restricted to 115 cubic meters per second (cumecs) against the required flow of 260 cumecs for normal power generation.
“As such, power generation continues to be reduced to about 40 percent of the capacity,” reads the statement.