Malawi energy minister says persistent blackouts ‘unacceptable’

Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Bright Msaka has described the current persistent and long hours of power blackouts as unacceptable.

Msaka: Persisitent blackouts unaccaeptable

Msaka: Persisitent blackouts unaccaeptable

Msaka said this on Wednesday in Mangochi during the annual meeting of Millenium Compact, a US funded initiative worth 350 million US dollars to improve the supply and distribution of electricity in the country.

Hesaid it is sad that Malawi still lags behind in the power sector which is negatively affecting the economy.

“What the country is going through in the piower sector is unacceptable. We need to have electricity blackouts solkutions,” he said.

He said it was not understandable that Escom is failing to provide electricity to the nation yet only 10 percent of the 17 million Malawians are connected to the power whilst some neighbouring countries have a 85 percent connection rate.

“Power has been a key constraint to the country’s development. Similarly, power is a key catalyst to national development,” said Msaka .

“We consulted widely among all Malawians and came to a consensus that among the many priority areas in agriculture, health and education – the energy sector requires due attention to turn the country’s economy around,” he added.

He added that investment in the power sector has several components which include the passing of the Electricity Act which President Mutharika already assented to, unbundling of ESCOM and capacity building of various players in the sector.

Msaka observed that the exercise by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) would be futile if the sector did not effectively engage independent power producers to fill existing gaps.

He said government is currently exploring other sources of energy in order to supplement hydro power to increase availability of power in the country.

The Minister cited such sources of energy as coal, thermal, solar, wind and hydro kinetic.

Energy expert Grain Malunga said the US funded project will only improive supply and distribution of electricity but not generation.

He said in an interview the situation would not improve even after the project finishes in 2018 because the proiblem is power generation that must be tackled to end the problem.

Malunga was fired as minister of Energy by Bingu wa Mutharika when he told parliament Malswians should accept that electricity problems are here to stay.

Escom top officials say there is no immediate solutions to the problems until rains come in December.

MCC Resident Country Director to Malawi, Oliver Pierson said the corporation was impressed with the commitment by all the partners in the sector in view of the fact that major works on extension of the power grid have taken place at; Phombeya in Balaka, Nkhoma in Lilongwe, Chintheche in Nkhata Bay and Bwengu in Rumphi.

“The corporation is satisfied with the progress the reform agenda is making to have independent power producers since ESCOM is willing to have the much needed electricity generated and have it on the grid to be transmitted and distributed to all Malawians,” Pierson said.

Speaking earlier, Chief Executive Officer for MCA – Malawi Dye Mawindo said the reforms which would also contribute to infrastructural development in the power sector would enhance electricity generation, transmission and distribution.

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12 thoughts on “Malawi energy minister says persistent blackouts ‘unacceptable’”

  1. True Patriot says:

    “Current persistent and long blackouts are unacceptable….”. So what are you going to do about it minister? This is typical empty long talk but without any action! This was obviously aimed at impressing foreign audience – the donor community.

    I can bet that when the minister arrived back to his house at the exclusive suburb in Area 10 or Area Cashgate there was no power blackout or, at least there was a tax-funded gen set providing power to the house! The problem is that these people don’t experience what we ordinary Malawians go through so they can’t appreciate the importance of tackling the power problem.

    Ironically, as the minister was saying this in Mangochi, half of Lilongwe City had had no power since 4am and electricity only came up on after 8pm!

    In fact, in my location it is normal that power is disconnected at 4am and switched back on after 8pm every second day! Now, someone should tell me what lunacy is this when Escom can provide power only between 8pm and 4am? If it was water i would suppose one would draw enough water to be used later, but magetsi?

    By the way, did you hear what Msaka’s colleague at ministry of sports said the other da? He has identified the reason why sports is going down in the country – people have overstayed in leadership positions in different sports associations! This is so true Henry, but not only in sports!

    It is also very true in government! Shuffling the same people to different portfolios does not make such individuals perform. Honestly, the bulk of APM’S cabinet ministers are the same people who served during Bingu’s first and second terms. The same people, including Henry Mussa also served during Joyce Banda’s two year reign. In fact wait a minute, wasn’t Henry Mussa in Bakili Muluzi cabinet? Is it a question of seeing a speck in another person’s eye, while there is a log in your own eye?

    All APM’s cabinet ministers have overstayed in their positions and that is why the country is performing pathetically in all aspects. You don’t believe me, ask Henry Mussa!!

  2. babes wodumo says:

    Mfweeemfweeemfwwe za zii munthu ndevu zili tchololo…….. tikufuna magetsi kaya mukatenga kuti koma ife kumaplot kuno tufuna magetsi

  3. Wilson says:

    These are the same thieves who are stealing money from poor Malawians. They need to be gathered and set on fire.

  4. dagobert says:

    His boss is talking highly about education on a global forum and is doing nothing at home and you are the responsible minister for Energie… and apart from talking again “nothing”! Unfortunately: From nothing comes nothing! No production, no foreign investment no economic recovery.

  5. Gogodasi says:

    Zuma dismissed the whole management team and board Directors at Eskom in South Africa and there are no more blackouts. Why can’t you do the same here so that staff at ESCOM realizes why they are employed in the first place? By saying blackouts are unacceptable, it is equally unacceptable to tell us about persistent black outs without coming up with a solution. Are you earning a salary just to say this nonsense or to give us hope that you are doing something to address the problem? We are not interested in your political rhetorics, but action. IF MCA is falling to solve the problem, kick them out and employ competent people.

  6. Che Sadulo says:

    Don’t tell us what we want to hear just for the sake of it Mr Mandevu Msaka. This is a real problem and it is messing up peoples’ lives. Malawians are living in the Dark Ages because of Escom’s downright poor performance. If you don’t have immediate solutions, then get out of that ministerial portfolio. If you cant handle the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen!

  7. Owen says:

    The Minister is passing the buck here, whose Ministry does Escom fall under? Talk about lack of proper planning. Come year-end the bosses will rake in big bonuses.

  8. Kokani says:

    Getu and Binwell agree with you guys we did not have black outs with JB in control of state affairs to hell these so called DPP.

  9. Central says:

    So the current persistent and long hours of power blackouts as unacceptable and other sources of energy are coal, thermal, solar, wind and hydro kinetic!! Basi? How long are we going to get this jazz?

    Bambo Msaka what do you mean when you say and I quote: “it is not understandable that Escom is failing to provide electricity to the nation yet only 10 percent of the 17 million Malawians are connected to the power whilst some neighbouring countries have a 85 percent connection rate?”

    Do you mean Government doesn’t know why Malawi is having the blackouts? Eeeeeeeeeeeshiiiiiiiii…….!! Mukanangokhala bambo osalankhula chili chonse ndithudiiiiiiii!! Mwachitazi enafe tsopano takhulupilira zomwe zikunenedwa m’ma Minbus kuti dzikoli lili m’manja mwa agalu owoneka ngati anthu…………..!!

  10. So your comments Mr. MSAKA are unacceptable too, your government is evil driven by the devil, guieded by the devil and loved by evil people. Schools are daily closed, teachers daily wailing, civil servants completely overshadowed by your evil minds. Talking of water and electricity, DPP ilibe nzeru, a bunch of misplacing priorities. Alot of water in Lake Malawi but you talk nonsense because the devil is using you. Cry for my beloved Malawi, its people cannot see and respond accordingly, Malawi is not poor but DPP minds are poor. Your time is coming soon when truth shall rise against you and your masters will perish.GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL

  11. Getu says:

    Just ask Joyce Banda what she did because there were no black-outs during her time – blackouts came with the coming of a failing govt

    1. triple C says:

      And if this is unacceptable, what are you doing Msaka?? This is your sector

Comments are closed.