Fault on power line leaves North Malawi without power for three days

A fault on the Salima to Nkhotakota power line left most parts of the Northern Region without power for three days.

There was power outage from Thursday to Saturday in Rumphi, Nkhatabay, Mzuzu, Mzimba and Chitipa in the Northern Region as well as in Ntchisi, Kasungu and Nkhotakota in the Southern Region.

Karonga district and Mzuzu Central Hospital in Mzuzu were also affected but were supplied with power from Wovwe Hydropower Station and Luwinga diesel generators respectively.

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) said on Thursday that the power cut was caused by faults on the 132kV Salima to Nkhotakota line.

On Saturday afternoon, the electricity supplier said it had restored power to the affected areas. The company also apologized for the power cut.

Meanwhile, Journalist James Chavula who focuses on energy and environment has expressed concern that a single backbone connects North to the national grid.

He faulted ESCOM for failing to use other routes to connect the North to the main grid and noted that even the single available line is poorly maintained.

Read part of his Facebook post: “One transmission line. Just one. Worse still this important line hangs on wooden polls, the same stuff termites love to chew and winds easily fell. Since Independence in 1964 there has been lack of political will to give the North an alternative route through Kasungu. The responsible decision maker–Director of Transmission and CEO–has been indecisive for far too long. Even maintenance on this power line has been shoddy.”

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