I can confidently say that for the past two or so months, I have thrown a lot of money in the dustbin than I have been able to make or deposit in my bank account. This is all due to the poor services from the country’s sole power provider Electricity Supply Cooperation of Malawi (Escom).
The constant power outages have now escalated into a crisis and are tolling heavily on not only the country’s economy but also on household income and productivity both at household level and work places. The worst part of this is that Escom seems unfazed. From where I am standing, it seems Escom doesn’t even know that almost everyday people are throwing their hard earned money in the dustbin if the prolonged daily power cuts are anything to go by.
I know, of course, that Escom is good at nothing save for providing blackouts—they cannot even provide us with information about why we are experiencing power cuts.
Just like many Malawians I am riled by Escom’s ineptitude and lack of urgency in ensuring that the perennial power outages become a thing of the past.
Every day someone somewhere is throwing decayed meat or milk because the refrigerators are often off due to power failure. Trust me, we are not just throwing milk or that piece of meat in the dustbin, it is money we are throwing away—can we can only blame Escom for this .
Many households, especially those in urban areas, buy groceries in bulk and are refrigerated, but as it is now, a refrigerator does not serve its purpose and can as well be used as a cupboard.
There is a message that went viral on social media about ‘the gospel according to Escom”. In a nutshell, the viral message talks about what shall profit a man to own electrical appliances when one does not have a generator and that man cannot live on Escom power alone but by charcoal and firewood. It’s hilarious. But the take home message from this is that Escom has become so incompetent that one would be a fool to wholeheartedly trust it—it is imperative that one should have a back-up plan. Is this what we should be talking about at 51 years of independence?
Sometimes I fail to appreciate the excuses that Escom gives. My failure to appreciate their excuses stems from the fact that Escom has been and continues to show little or no regard for customers. Can Escom really justify the power outages we experience every day?
It is unfortunate that there is a common trend with most service providers in Malawi, they are arrogant, condescending and incompetent and have no regard for customers who keep on throwing their money in the bin and yet they are still are expected to pay bills for the power that is hardly available. Sigh!