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Malawi Energy Sector & Policy News

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"Horrors of prolonged blackouts"

Long queues in the dark. Lengthy waits for on-off flickers of hope. No time to doze off.

Sleepless nights bring to light the suffering Malawians are enduring as they line up all night-long for a turn in maize mills that go all day without power.

As lengthy and frequent blackouts dim the country’s fragile economy, The Nation has established that some rural dwellers are spending nights waiting for electricity at the grinding mills.

"Prolonged blackouts choke dairy farmers"

Goliati Milk Bulking Groups (MBGs) in Thyolo, which is under Rural Livelihoods and Economic Enhancement Programme (Rleep), has expressed concerns that prolonged power outages have ruined their milk production business.

This came to light during a recent media tour organised by Rleep, an organisation that seeks to improve incomes of economically active poor rural households engaged in the production, processing and marketing of selected agricultural commodities by advancing their integration with the emerging commercial sector.

Business Intelligence: "Counting costs of electricity cuts"

If you follow Malawians on the social media, it is apparent events in Zimbabwe generated a lot of interest. It drew comparisons with 1993, the excitement, hope and prospects of a bright future.

Some even went to caution that our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe need not get too excited because change is sometimes no change. Things remain the same. What I found interesting about events in Zimbabwe is that it was good distraction from the issue affecting most Malawians. Electricity.

"Blackouts cost Mzimba hospital K1.5m per month"

Mzimba District Hospital is spending almost K1.5 million a month on fuel for standby generators to mitigate life-threatening impacts of constant power disruptions.

In an interview, Mzimba South district health officer Lumbani Munthali said the power blackouts have worsened the hospital’s financial problems.

He appealed to the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to spare hospitals from the ongoing outages, which have seen some locations going 24 hours without power.

"Escom generators deal: Govt comes under fire"

Members of Parliament (MPs) Thursday pressed government to explain why Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is in the process of hiring generators to produce power when its mandate is to supply generated power.

Minister of Finance, Goodall Gondwe, told the august House that Escom is hiring generators to reduce cases of power outages that have hit the country hard.

Comment: "Why always ESCOM?"

The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is again in the news for some suspicious dealings.

Of the many parastatals in the country, Escom deserves the moniker ‘Serial Blunderers’ because they just cannot do anything right. Right now, Escom is on every person’s lips because of its failure to supply electricity to people.

Malawians have been taken back to the Dark Ages going days without electricity. The never-ending blackouts have hit hard both domestic and industrial users of electricity, thus giving a fatal blow to our already ailing economy.

"New Boss, New Scam"

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is again caught in some suspicious dealings in the procurement of generators meant to ease the country’s energy crisis.

Escom changed chiefs executive officers recently with Alexon Chiwaya replacing Evelyn Mwapasa in a move many thought was meant to find a solution to the power outages that has hit nation hard.


"Energy debate"

As the country is grappling with its worst electricity crisis in history, there are proposals for the government to consider putting tax waivers on solar products and generators to increase access to those products and lessen dependence on hydro-electric power.

For a long time, there has been a mismatch between demand for electricity and the capacity that is available for distribution and the situation has been made worse by declining water levels in Lake Malawi where the country taps water for hydro-electric power generation.

"Power outages threaten manufacturing growth"

The manufacturing sector is set to face subdued growth thanks to the prolonged power outages, economists have said.

The sector, which contributes about nine percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), is forecast to grow by 5.6 percent in 2017 from two percent in 2016.

However, for most of the manufacturing companies, production has come to a halt as the power problems have disrupted production, effectively threatening the expected growth projections.