Escom warns of more power outages in Malawi for next four months

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.blackout

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.

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50 thoughts on “Escom warns of more power outages in Malawi for next four months”

  1. Chakhulukwenda says:

    I totally agree with No. 42, we are spending billions of kwacha’s trying to relocate our colleagues in the lower shire whereas if we would control the flow of the shire river by building a dam between Liwonde and zalewa and another dam on the ruo river we would:-

    (a) Control the flooding in the lower shire thereby making the relocation exercise redundant for our colleagues as they would be staying in their respective areas. Aswan Dan in the Nile river, Kariba on the zambezi , Canada and Netherlands are other countries that provide very good examples of how to control floods.
    (b) The frequent damages to the intake screens for the Nkula and tedzani generation power stations would be the thing of the past. And the flooding that affected Nkula generation plant would be avoided.
    (c) The dredging on walkers Ferry for Blantyre Water Board would not be necessary as the dam would take care of the most debris and mud and the dam would be easier to dredge.
    (d) The water from the dam would be used for irrigation between Zalewa and Balaka as we are all aware how dry this area is.
    (e) fish farming would form part of the activities on the dam
    (f) MIE as their contribution to the country would design the two dams

    I rest my contribution.

  2. dochima says:

    I think it is sabotage. When DPP was in power before JB’s reign, Malawi saw blackouts and fires in offices. During JB’s reign we could see light dominating Malawi. Soon after taking over from JB, DPP ushered in blackout and fires syndrome. Let APM resign you will witness light in the street. The resources we have are enough to give full light to Malawi if properly managed. Why should the turbines and generators need maintenance only when DPP is in power? One thing is certain DPP = darkness.

  3. MCHEMO says:

    WHY DON’T WE RESUSCITATE THOSE OLD CATERPILLAR GENERATORS WE USED TO HAVE IN PLACES LIKE MZUZU AND ZOMBA! OUR MISERIES SHOULD HAVE BEEN REDUCED. BE IT POLICY TO HAVE HEAVY DUTY GENERATORS IN MAJOR CITIES.

    MALAWI GENERATES A LOT OF SOLID MASS EVERYWHERE – trash from markets instead of it being sent to rubbish tips, can be used to fire a thermal/diesel power plant.

    MOST PEOPLE IN URBAN AREAS OF MALAWI GENERATE A LOT OF SOLID WASTE AND THIS CAN BE COLLECTED BY CITY COUNCIL’s REFUSE COLLECTION DEPARTMENTS AS THEY DO THEIR WEEKLY COLLECTION!

  4. Kadushu says:

    Is Shire river only affect Ndirande, Biwi, Katoto and those othner poor areas of Malawi. whiy only these areas are affected with this Load Sheding ESCOM embaking on. StartLoad Sheding from STAETE HOUSE, Area 10, Area 9, Nyambadwe, Sunnyside Namiwawa before you come to us.

    you fools from ESCOM

  5. Let it rain says:

    Kodi vuto lenileni ndi chani? Madzi onsewa ali mu shire wa zoona? kapena school me on this please. Pa shire pompa apa pa chikwawa too much water shaaa

  6. bansbad says:

    we r usd to live wtout electricity go hell

  7. Mpumulo wa Bata wayandikila says:

    Can our colonial masters come back pleeeeeease! We have failed miserably to govern ourselves. We need leaders who can anticipate things and plan accordingly not Mathanyula who is asleep at the wheel next week they will have another banquet celebrating something.
    That is all they know ……partying.

  8. Ytg1616 says:

    Aaaaah escom smuzatheka we r tired wit ur stupid excuses

  9. Hitler says:

    Is there no one in the Govt that would think of building a major dam on upper Shire for conservation of water, irrigation and power generation rather than wasting it as we are doing. It’s sad that we are now talking about load shedding due to lowering of water levels in the lake and yet we allow water go into Mozambique as if we have nothing to do with it. Can’t we emulate what the people of Ethiopia are doing. The reasons for the power outage is nonsensical if we cannot conserve our waters properly.

  10. SA boy to malawi says:

    What are traying to say you escom this country of they got poor goverment. What you know crime that’s all not diverlopment. Malawi unali kale thawi ya kamuzu madalaolikonda ziko lawo osati ndalama ngati mabingu ndi ma joyce ndi ma bakili awandiye asogoleli okonda ndalama. Basi onani joyce wathawa pano aliku america nanga msogoleli azitele kupanga geni ziko lakelomwe kuliwononga mkuthawa asongoleli adyela otelewa ofunika chilango chokwiya kwambasi 12years kundende basi mwina uthu ndi sitha kubaku zithu zikusokonekela chifukwa chachinyengo

  11. namatikitiki says:

    Escom don’t fool Malawians, u cannot say that Malawians should brace for load shedding for the next 4months. R u sure by then u will have connected to the neighbouring country’s grids? I am saying this bcoz if u r depending on the premise that the country will have rains in four months then that’s very poor planning! Climate change has made Malawi to b receiving enough rains from Jan. Your 4months ends in November!

  12. Malcolm says:

    Quite simply ESCOM is not fit for purpose. It provides an unpredictable service; totally unreliable supply whilst neighbouring countries have much better delivery of electricity to businesses and households. It is complacent and arrogant as the monopoly supplier ( or non-supplier,much of the time). Government should be taking action to secure levels of service by
    both Escom and the water board.These are basic services for the citizens of Malawi and it is the function of government to ensure the quality of these services. Action is needed.Urgently. Rubbish excuses about global warming and lack of rain just do not wash.

  13. mangufu says:

    ESCOM are not entirely to blame, only to some extent. This is why:

    1. Due to political reasons, they have not been allowed to sell electricity above the production cost rendering investments into generation/infrastructure additions impossible.
    2. the government priorities have been upside down. Politicians do not realise that with insufficient power generation, due to lack of political will, no meaningful sustainable economic activities can happen. This is probably due to selfishness since not many will benefit in terms of allowances and other hidden shenanigans.
    3. On their part, ESCOM management has not been efficient and sensitive enough to current realities. They have gone a head to buy posh cars not befitting their dilemma. they have simply been heedless of the whole situation.

    SOLUTION: Mind set and priorities must change from both government and the “SICK” ESCOM although it is late, nevertheless not too late. Invest heavily in energy generation and infrastructure.

    Government should work hard to bring in competitors to ESCOM so that they wake up from their slumber and stop the feeling that they are sacred cows in the country who can plunder at will!

  14. Even if you did not tell us it does not make any slig

  15. Zinja says:

    shupit zanu bolaso nthawi ya amayi ija zinali bwino koma izizi zatopesa tiona 2019 pa vote!!!!!

  16. sammy says:

    Escom you have never been on top of ur services you always gives excuses make sure ur load shedding should not bring disaster to hospitals otherwise ur CEO will be fired zisilu inu.

  17. Dixy-tee says:

    We r used to living in black-outs and it is a blessing to have electricity on a particular day. So ESCOM we r tired of your rhetoric. Always excuses. Then it was floods, now it is water capacity. That”s poor planning on the part of executive management. No wonder, we still remain the worlds’poorest country.

  18. xxxx says:

    ESCOM has been disappointed by the idea of government which stopped its plan to carry a plant. This is tit-for-tat. Muiziwa escom.

  19. Ndatero ine says:

    Its not a new thing paja ndi towards power all day everyday …..escom mxiii

  20. It is no brainer at all. We have lived like this with ESCOM. To hell with them.

  21. hendie says:

    51 yrs old…

  22. mwene says:

    This over-reliance on Shire river for power generation is puzzling so too is Water supply by BWB. It is well documented that between 1902/1903 water couldn’t flow from lake Malawi into Malombe and Shire river. This itself is enough warning that regardless of Climate change weather has its own unpredictable cycle. Interconnection between Malawi and Mozambique has been a mere song for years and another tune with Zambia is now on board. WHEN AND WHEN WILL REAL ACTION TAKE PLACE????? WHO IS THE DECISION MAKER???? WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG TO IMPLEMENT????? SOMEWHERE SOMEBODY IS NOT PERFORMING AND MUST GIVE WAY TO PERFORMERS!!!!!!!!

  23. suzyo nyirenda says:

    Something here is wrong. We had massive loadshedding in january bcoz of the floods so what’s this. Find better reasons please

  24. malawian says:

    Lowering of water levels in lake malawi?

  25. Stevie says:

    Why do we have such problems now when there is high demand of customers waiting 4 new connetions? Escom pliz be serious

  26. Major son says:

    Just tell us that the issue is not water shortage in our lake but a plan to sell the escom to other called investers who are already here ndiye mukufuna public itokotepo kuti escom yalephera peter auze anthu chilungamo coz instead of developmet you want poverty you poor boy

  27. Rover says:

    Are you sure gentlemen and ladies that we had low rainfall in the past rainy season? Have you forgotten that Malawi was declared a disaster area by HE because of the heavy rains that the country received early this year? Lets learn to say the truth dear colleagues. As far as I can see, the problem is with management of resources by ESCOM and whoever has that task. Why shouldn’t we have a reliable power generation system at 51 years? Do you know that in other countries people ‘ran away when there’s a slight power failure’ thinking that it could be ‘a BOKO HARAM attack?’ We are not serious at all.

  28. Concerned says:

    Ambuye I thought we had floods this ended season. Escom please find another reason.

  29. jemus says:

    Nyani unja akubweranso kuzathimitsa magesi simunamuphembe? Kkkkkkk koma escom mukunamizira ndi load shedding

  30. Mnngulu says:

    Something is amiss here! The flow at Liwonde is regulated and is not the whole flow that could come out of the lake that passes Liwonde now. What is this flow and how can be conserve it to ensure we have ample flow till February when you expect the lake to rise substantially. Wake up ESCOM and DPP gavumenti

  31. Parallel Market says:

    ESCOM, please stop taking us for granted. Don’t fool us with your low water level claims in Lake Malawi and Shire River. By the way, don’t you think that works currently in progress at Kamuzu Barrage have the effect of reducing water flows down stream? In my layman’s thinking water flow through Kamuzu Barrage is restricted with construction works currently underway by Conduril – Engenharia S.A. The river is being buried and over 50% of its width has already been buried so how do you think you can get adequate water flows in this case. Think ESCOM. I don’t blame you!!!

  32. Ma Gunners says:

    Cholinga mudziti basi tikugulitsa ESCOM!!Zakukanikani basi!

  33. Consumer says:

    It appears when there is more water is a problem now is also a problem when water levels drop. Are we realy serious what is the purpose of having a barrage ? I thought it was to regulate water flow to Nkula and Tedzani? When the water level is fine you come up with reason to say Nyani anagwira magetsi. Lets just accept that zutivuta!!!! Remember what you were telling us last year.

  34. lol says:

    Ingonenani kuti Peter Mutharika boma lamukanika kuyendetsa not that due to insufficient generation capacity.

  35. kanyimbi says:

    These people do know how to do their job. When rain comes (more water) they complain of mud when there is no mud they complain of less water. Please use wind,solar and thermal electricity.

  36. Telling the Truth says:

    This is what DPP and Peter Mutharika should be addressing and not holding political rallies to attack Dr Chakwela. The DPP is the party that brought Malawi to its knees by April 2012. It is a party that believes it will end unemployment by building community technical colleges. It does not know that to end or reduce unemployment there is need to boost demand for goods and services.

  37. Chikopa says:

    Amalawi tilindivuto we are blaming escom koma mnyumba mwathu taika ma bulb akalekale aja vuto lilipo ma bulb akangophwa ma energy saver bulb anthu akubwezera akale tayendani m’manyumbamu muone upeza ndiamene anapita ku chacco yemwe waika bulb lakale koma kukhalanso pa No.1 ku blame escom ,kodi anthu inu simuziwa kuti mukaika saver bulb bill imachepa ndi half? koma mwezi ukatha kumalira ndi bill kuti yachuluka mufuna escom ichite kubwera ndi police kuti chosani ma bulb awa, amalawi kugona kwantundu umenewo ndiye kuti? Osachangamuka in 20centary , amane mukuika ma bulb akale simukusiyana ndi amene amazula zikwangwani mu nsewu kumakakhoma zidebe

  38. Bibi says:

    Paja DPP ikamatero imakhala ikufuna kuba tidzamve ma cashgate 2016 ino.

  39. Observer says:

    I suspect Escom under instructions……..from else where………… are playing a game to Malawians. They want to show as if Escom can not proceed running on it’s own but need support from the private sector hence government opting to sell but things should seem worse first so that the reason of selling holds water. They want Malawians to be frustrated by Escom operations and succum to pressure, ultimately allowing government to sell. How come when Tedzani 2 was opened we had no power blackouts?

  40. Bob says:

    Meanwhile government is busy wooing investors to come and invest in darkness. ESCOM is pathetic.

  41. Professional says:

    I am a patriot but at this point I think we should consider conceding defeat, and let some other people come and run this corporation for us.

  42. Me says:

    What shocks me is that are there no risk planning managers there who can foresee such a future scenario and propose alternatives well before the risk event occurs?

  43. mmmm says:

    When you have a leader that self imposed through courts.
    And when God disapprove the leadership.
    We have had calamities upon calamities since the so called winning of Pitala.
    Mtsogoleriyu SANASANKHE MULUNGU.
    And sitinati unless he steps down.

  44. clement says:

    Reduced water levels in Lake Mw and Shire? Did we not hv floods in Jan and Feb? You donated all that water to Zambezi

  45. Bratusha says:

    Kodi ndi nzeru zakufa ngati zimenezi tingathedi kumanga mlatho wa ma kilometers 36 pa nyanja? Ndiye choncho tidzizitama kuti ndife anthu anzeru? Osatheka! Dziko la a nyani! Why should we so much be dictated by nature instead of us managing it? Today too much rainfall tomorrow too little rainfall. Koma chonsecho akuti kuli ma engineer kumeneko. No wonder the white man will always look superior over us.

  46. John Paul says:

    Akupanga dala ndi cholinga choti agulitse ESCOM, mbuzi za DPP.

  47. Concerned says:

    This is a repeat of 1997, and why we need to complement hydro with thermal power sources, as well as connecting to the Southern African Power Pool. Did you know you could wade across the Shire between 1917 and 1935? Isn’t it frightening to think it could happen again. Management of flow at Liwonde doesn’t cut it. You would need larger storage or pumping at the estaury, both with negative social and environmental implications.

  48. Bwandilo Blockleader says:

    Malawian companies irks me a lot. Yes we understand there’s reduced water levels in Shire but what are you doing to at least lessen the impact? What about interconnection with Zambia/Mozambique or installing diesel generators like in Likoma. Just imagine we go the Biblical 7 years of drought? We also understand MCC is about to shut down Nkula for a major maintenance in January 2016. For what i know Nkula is ESCOM meaning no Nkula no ESCOM but ESCOM is not preparing the nation for zat trying time. Mukufuna mazaname kut matope adzadza mmadamu anu!

  49. Nde escom yakuno imenei nthawi zonse amapereka excuse..kkk woah DPP blood i remember 2011.

  50. Truck says:

    Escom just tell us the truth that you don’t know how to do your job stop beating up and down the Bush kiki!

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