Inmates at Chichiri Prison in Blantyre are reported to have gone three days without food due to power outages.
Malawi Prison Services (MPS) spokesperson Julius Magombo confirmed the development in an interview on Wednesday.
He said they could not use firewood as an alternative because MPS stopped using firewood for cooking but switched to electricity.
Magombo said the prison is now preparing food at Prison Training School at Mapanga in the district.
He said: “Prison Department migrated from the use of firewood to electricity to ensure timely preparation of food and also to save the environment.
“However, the blackouts are negatively affecting the initiative. We are preparing prisoners’ food at Prison Training School at Mapanga.”
He appealed to religious groups, relatives of inmates and other well-wishers to provide foodstuffs for inmates as Escom is working on the problem.
Centre for Human Rights, Education, Advice and Assistance executive director Victor Mhango said the situation poses a threat to inmates’ lives, especially those suffering from tuberculosis and those on antiretroviral treatment.
He appealed to Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to treat prisons as one of its priority areas.
Chichiri Prison’s capacity is 800 but currently it has about 2 000 prisoners.