Prolonged power outage irks Mwima residents in Balaka


People residing around Mwima Trading Centre in Balaka District have expressed dismay over delay by the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) to restore power supply at the trading centre, five months after a transformer developed a technical fault.

Our investigations reveals that the 315 kva ground mounted transformer which was supplying the trading centre with electricity developed a fault in February this year and was taken out by ESCOM personnel for repairs.

For about five months now, Mwima residents have endured living without the commodity, but with much anticipation that the problem would be resolved within a short period of time. However, they say, they can no longer hold on to their patience as the waiting has been long enough.

Dickson Wasili is ward councilor for Shire ward, Balaka central east constituency. He says the problem has completely changed the narrative as different businesses have been adversely affected.

He said: ”The whole trading centre has no light. People whose businesses solely depend on electricity are reeling in poverty since their business ventures are crumbling down.”

Wasili adds that security at the trading centre has been put in shambles, calling on the power utility company to swiftly act on the matter.

Issah Ndeketa operates a barbershop at the trading centre. He says, power outage has completely put his business on a deathbed and he is currently struggling to provide food and other valuable necessities to his family.

But responding to the concerns, Escom public relations manager, Kitty Chingota, blamed the delay in restoring power supply at the trading centre to unavailability of transformers.

”We are aware of the fault but we do not have transformer in stock hence the delay in clearing the fault.

”Currently, we are doing everything possible to get transformers delivered by our suppliers though this has delayed due to other factors such as escalation in prices on the world market due to low supply which was caused by Covid-19,” Chingota said.

Mwima trading centre serves a population of over 2,000 people.