The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has blamed Malawians for being behind persistent blackouts in the country arguing that deforestation by citizens has led to low water levels in Shire River.
The development comes at a time when blackouts are the order of the day across the country.
However, Escom has disclosed that the situation is to go worse following a fall of water levels in the Shire River.
Speaking to the local press, Escom spokesperson Kitty Chingota said the company is now regulating water flow at 160 cubic meters per second against the required 260 cubic meters per second at Liwonde barrage.
But she was quick to mention that the problem at hand has been due to poor rainfall following El-Nino that hit the country.
“First of all, we had poor rainfall in the country and our electricity is 99 percent hydro based generated, but also citizens are also to blame for cutting down trees along our catchment area for charcoal and timber,” said Chingota.
Meanwhile, Malawians have expressed concern over the current situation of blackouts arguing that businesses which rely on electricity are being affected.
“We are not to do our businesses as usual, because of electricity, we are having power supply only at night, by 6am the power is already gone, our electricity company must do something,” said Patricio Wochi from Chiradzulu district.
John Mbewe from Machinjiri in Blantyre said: “I now go back home with only K1000 or less these days because of blackouts, the situation is just too much.”
To help in meeting the electricity demand in the country, Escom is currently installing diesel power generators while also implementing the Malawi Mozambique power inter-connection project.