Frequent blackouts infuriate Chitipa CSOs 


Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in Chitipa have expressed displeasure with Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) for frequent power outages in the district.

The CSOs say the power cuts have affected operations of various businesses and offices including health facilities.

Speaking during a full council meeting, Chairperson for Chitipa CSO Network, Patrick Ziba, wondered why Chitipa experiences blackouts everyday despite ESCOM assuring the nation that things have changed.

Ziba said the residents are not happy with the tendency by ESCOM to switch off power every day.

“We are losing lives in our hospitals because of lack of electricity and also some of our businesses have suffered for the same. 

“As a district we need to do something because the blackouts are out of hand. Our neighbouring districts are enjoying electricity every day, why Chitipa?” Ziba asked.

District Commissioner for Chitipa, MacMillan Magomero, assured that during the forthcoming full council meeting, he will summon ESCOM officials to answer as to why there are frequent blackouts in the district.

ESCOM Chief Public Relations Officer, Kitty Chingota, acknowledged that Chitipa does, sometimes, experience blackouts as is the case with other parts of the country. 

She, however, said that it might not be entirely correct to say that blackouts are the order of the day in Chitipa.

Chingota said that there has, of late, been an improvement in stability of power supply to Chitipa after her institution intensified efforts to repair faults on the power line that supplies electricity to the district. 

“Oftentimes, ESCOM faces challenges carrying out maintenance of this line to Chitipa due to resource constraints,” she said.

She said ESCOM has prioritised Karonga to Chitipa line for 100 percent maintenance. 

Meanwhile, ESCOM has received switchgear from the Ministry of Energy, through Malawi Rural Electrification Programme (MAREP), to install on the Chitipa line to help in localising the faults. 

“ESCOM engineers recently split the Chitipa and Songwe lines by maintaining a bundle conductor that was strung parallel to the airport. This means Chitipa and Songwe lines are now on separate breakers. This has reduced faults on both these lines,” Chingota explained. 

She said ESCOM engineers are designing new structures that can withstand weather elements of the area, adding that Chitipa’s alternative supply line is being considered from Nyika National Park to Nthalire.

Reported by Aliko Munde


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