The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is making a strong warning to its customers across the country that they will continue to experience frequent and prolonged load shedding for the next four months due to insufficient generation capacity.
In a statement issued Monday, Escom says the situation has been compounded by reduced water levels in Lake Malawi and the Shire River, which are its major sources of water for hydro power electricity generation.
The current water flow in the Shire as measured at Liwonde Barrage is 214 cubic meters per second (cumecs), against the total required discharge of 261 cumecs at Nkula, 274 cumecs at Tedzani and 268 cumecs at Kapichira Hydro Power Stations if all machines are running at full capacities.
“In the current scenario, if these power stations are to run at full capacity, it will mean fast depletion of water storage pond levels, a situation that is not desirable for sustained operations,” reads the statement, in part.
The statement attributes this to low rainfall in the past season which is attributed to climate change.
“This is a reality that is not reversible at the moment and is likely to worsen in the next four to five months,” says Escom in the statement.
The corporation is, however, urging its customers to conserve energy usage at all times by, among other measures, switching off geysers, electric heaters and pool pumps from 5pm to 9pm every day; and switching off unnecessary appliances and lighting.
Customers should are also advised to switch off any apparatus, lights in rooms and air-conditioners before living their homes, offices and other work areas.