Blackouts affect Malawi small scale businesses

Small business owners have said erratic power supplies are proving costly to their businesses while life has become unbearable for ordinary people due to frequent blackouts.

Blackout hits barber while he was shaving a a customer at Manase...Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Blackout hits barber while he was shaving a a customer at Manase…Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Rahaby waiting for electricity in her saloon -.Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Rahaby waiting for electricity in her saloon -.Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Small scale traders say Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) and governmentshould find a lasting solution to the power crisis which affects efforts to revive the economy.

Rahaby Ngulama a hair dresser told Nyasa Times that load-shedding is badly increasing the cost of doing business in the country

“Damn,” she said as her hair drier slowly ground to a halt. “I hate it. I hate load-shedding.”

It was Tuesday morning and the populous Manase Township in Blantyre was hit by another blackout.

“I am supposed to finish this customer before end of business today because tomorrow she is going for a workshop in Lilongwe … How?” she asked.

The electricity cut means she will have to work through the night. Rahaby said she doesn’t know how long the power will be off.

She touched her braided hair, visibly frustrated.

“They never stick to the schedule they give out. Four hours, maybe six hours, and tomorrow they announced load-shedding, too.”

For small business owners such as Rahaby , Malawi power crisis has become a serious inconvenience.

Since two months ago, the state-run power company has struggled to keep the country’s lights on.

Hours-long power cuts have become part of everyday life for Malawians.

Like many fellow citizens, the young hair dresser is worried about the state of Malawi.

“I am telling you, this country is going down,” said Rahaby.

“Malawi is going through a very difficult time,” she said. “The anxiety in the country is rooted in deeper problems. The growing frustration with frequent blackouts and the unwillingness of Escom to deal with it.”

“I feel like we are really a third world country,” said Chifundo Manase who manages a barbershop in Bangwe township

“It is difficult to tell investors who want to come and set up their machinery which should run for 24 hours that they will not be able to do so because of power cuts.”

Ordinary residents were also concerned by the frequent power cuts.

Mweka Chimowa said power cuts had a net effect of increasing the cost of living on the ordinary citizens.

Some people said their major expenses arose from buying firewood, gas or paraffin while their social lives have been affected as most times they cannot watch television.

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15 thoughts on “Blackouts affect Malawi small scale businesses”

  1. Tesco says:

    How can investors come then? Mr Mbendera, how do you sleep?

  2. stompido says:

    At this age someone doesn’t know the relationship between Govt and Escom? Don’t you know that Escom is a milk cow for governemt hence if over milked it hinders the operations of Escom starting from Generation,transimmission to distribution?The load shedding issue reduces production and reduction in production reduces the capacity to generate basic income which result in in low availability of money to the common citizen,therefore the buying power of money reduces dollar goes up,and you are saying its none of the government business,shut up and start reading books that will improve your thinking rather than commenting for the sake of comenting let the government do something instead of spending 350million to feed 100 pipo who just in states for a holiday zikomo.

  3. chenjigolo says:

    iwe No.6 ndiwe chimbuli zedi ndi jb wakoyo akungaombera m’manja mfiti yopemphera ngati imene ija. Iwe ndi jb wakoyo mupite kunyanja mukakolope sinthawi yake yino ai!!!!!!! imene ija idanyamuka, shut up ur mouth ngati wasowa zolankhula. Amene uja ndiye chief cashgater. Go to hello ndi jb wakoyo opusa iwe!! munthu wamkulu ngati amene uja angamanene kuti ogawilidwa sanabe koma otengayo chimbuzi chachikazi ngati chimene chija.

  4. Kandapako says:

    ESCOM please change your slogan to “TOWARDS DARKNESS ALL DAY EVERYDAY”

  5. Harry says:

    Umenewo ndiye umbuli, what’s the relationship between blackouts and government of the day. Yes I for one is of the view that something is wrong with this government. Loadshedding is
    another thing government of the day another thing. Don’t just comment for the sake of it.

  6. honey comb Chidyauzu says:

    Honestly there were no black outs during JB’S reign despite her other failings. But there is nothing going with this DPP Gafament

  7. Umziya says:

    Kuli enatu akulamulila zimenezi kunalibe

  8. Loadshedding is making losses in businesses that anchored on electricity.The complaints from barbers,bakers,butchers and hair dressers et are genuine.

  9. kadamanja says:

    Zofuna tokha a Malawi posankha DPP kuti litilamulire. Tikulira chani apa? Yikangofika nthawi ya campain muzawona womwewo a DPP kuyankhula mukavotera ife a Dpp zinthu zidzasitha kuyiwala mavuto amene tikukumana nawo panopa. Tsankho lomwe tili nali zipatso zake ndizomwezi. Mmannyoza Jb kuti ndiwopemphapempha ena akupempha chakudya ku America uko. Sitinati tiyeni.

  10. Consumer says:

    Honestly ma black out amenewa akunyozetsa boma.People are not looking at the service providers but Goverment. Boma should investigate what is really happening there which has never happened in the history. Something really!!!???

  11. Reason says:

    So if power is moved to mangochi i must drive from liwonde to follow it @ Azimayi aku chiradzulu……………

  12. Patriot says:

    Ambiri mukulira apa munasankha malodzawa kuti atilamulire.

  13. Antoni apaphata says:

    Inudi ndi azimayi a ku chiradzulu okuba . Ndachonganso… Kkkkklk

  14. Azimayi aku chiradzulu akuba says:

    There is no problem with loadshedding. The problem is that those who rely on electricity for their business don’t understand the meaning of loadshedding. Dela la kwanu magetsi akazima, mudziimba foni kwa anzanu adela lina kwafunsa ngati mbali yawoyo kuli magetsi. e.g: ku Bangwe magetsi akazima tifunse wa ku Ndirande ngati akuyaka, ndiye pa nthawi imeneyo wa ku Bangwe apite ku Ndirande podikilira magetsi ku Bangwe: Ngati simutsatira malangizo amenewa mudzingokhalira kudandaula daily. Malawians always complain when things go bad, but never appreciate when job well done. Kunena zoona boma ndiye likuyesetsa.

    1. drogba says:

      you must be very damn stupid @Azimayi aku chiradzulu, very stupid

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