Electricity tower vandals plunge Malawi into total darkness

Officials from Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) say Wednesday evening’s national blackout was as a result of vandalism on one of its towers in Blantyre.
Director of systems and market operations at the power utility company, Charles Kagona,  said meanwhile, the development has led to the loss of about 30 percent of its power supply.
“We discovered that the fault was caused by vandalism in Blantyre on power towers that carry two power lines from Nkula to Blantyre and also from Tedzani Power Station to Blantyre,” disclosed Kagona.
He has since affirmed the challenge will be addressed by Saturday this week.
Meanwhile, emergency restoration works for Malawi’s main hydropower plant Kapichira will not meet the December 22 deadline as earlier projected.
EGENCO’s Publicist, Moses Gwaza, disclosed this when the Natural Resources and Climate Change Committee of Parliament visited the plant on Thursday to appreciate the progress of the maintenance.
“The rehabilitation works have now begun after being halted for some time due to issues pertaining to designs and others,” said Gwaza.
Gwaza added he could not commit to new completion dates for the project saying EGENCO is waiting to hear from a World Bank Consultant and Contractor under the Shire Valley Irrigation Project.
Kapichira power station which generates 129.6 megawatts stopped functioning in January this year due to damage it suffered as a result of Tropical Cyclone Ana.
 The station is under emergency rehabilitation using a $60 million World Bank credit facility.

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