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.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :