22 October 2016 Last updated at: 1:07 PM
Mutharika blames previous governments for blackouts
As the country continues to experience rampant blackouts, President Peter Mutharika has blamed shortsightedness of previous governments as the cause of the power cuts.
Mutharika made the remarks at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe where he was briefing the press about his trip to 71st Session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
He said lack of vision towards electricity on the part of previous governments has led to blackouts being a daily song in the country.
“Previous administrations did not plan and invest seriously to upgrade our power generation,” Mutharika said.
The Malawi leader added that climate change and increase in population are also the causes of current electricity blackouts in the country.
“Our population is growing against limited power generation. On average ESCOM connects 6, 000 customers every month. There are currently about 350,000 connected customers on the system with backlog of 26,898 applicants awaiting for connection,” Said Mutharika.
“Climate change has caused drought and dry spell causing the lowering of water table in the region,” he added.
Mutharika revealed that his government is negotiating with Zambia and Mozambique to procure extra power into the country and they expect initially a total of about 20MW from these two negotiations.
Mutharika further said that ESCOM is investing in Diesel Power Generation to provide additional electricity in the country.
“ESCOM is in the process of leasing a 78MW of Emergency Power Plant expected to be commissioned by December 2016. This will restore supply of power to industries and get economic production back on track,” Mutharika disclosed.
According to Mutharika, his government is procuring 70MW Solar Power from Independent Power Producers and bid documents for procuring the first four IPPs have been submitted to all PV Solar IPPs among other immediate measures.