Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Chikwawa, Right Reverend Peter Musikuwa, has advised Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) to devise alternative energy sources as one way of circumventing the problem of persistent power outages.
Musikuwa observed that the current situation where the country is experiencing frequent blackouts has a negative effect towards the development of the country.
He said there was need for ESCOM and its partner Electricity Generating Company (Egenco) to find alternative sources of energy to lessen the impact of the power outages.
Speaking on Saturday during the Golden Jubilee of St Kalemba, Bangula Parish, Bishop Musikuwa said continued blackouts hinder both local and international investors from establishing their businesses in the country.
“ESCOM and Egenco should now find means of solving the problem once and for all which has been a challenge for some time now. People are failing to do their businesses as a result of having no power in most towns and cities.
“If people cannot have their maize milled [this will] contribute negatively towards education since most children would shun classes because they are hungry,” said Musikuwa.
The bishop added that often, people spend long hours without electricity, which affects operations of various businesses in the country. He pointed out the need to find ways of ending the problem by ensuring that Egenco generates enough power.
Speaking on Farm Inputs Subsidy Programme (FISP), he said there was need to monitor the programme closely, saying most deserving households are denied their right on the same.
He said there was need for government to deploy extension workers to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the programme so that only those eligible should benefit.
“FISP has been hit by corrupt practices and most communities have been greatly affected because even those that were entrusted with the programme are corrupt,” he alleged, saying poor farmers have been asked to pay additional money for the inputs.
In response, President Arthur Peter Mutharika who graced the golden Jubilee event as guest of honour, said his government was doing all it could to address the problems in question.
Mutharika, however, commended the Catholic Church for contributing positively towards the country’s development, citing health, agriculture and education sectors where it (Catholic Church) has effectively collaborated with government.
“On the problems highlighted, my government is working hard to sort them out, but we need collaborative efforts. Let’s work together because government and churches are supposed to work in close collaboration in uplifting people lives,” said Mutharika.
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