Malawi should brace itself to continue experience serial blackouts, Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) has said.
Escom said on Monday it has no immediate solution to the current power problems.
The utility provider embarked on ‘load shedding’ process, where electricity is rationed to cope with overwhelming demand.
But Escom has said the problem will prolong as demand for electricity was very high and yet there is decreased power generation due to reduced water levels in Lake Malawi and Shire River which are its major sources of water for hydro power electricity generation.
“There will be enormous operating difficultites in the months of Sepetember to December. Lake levels will drop by early December and we will only be able to generate 135 megawarrs (MW). Load shedding is likely to increase in the months,” said ESCOM chief executive officer John Kandulu.
He was addressing journalists in Blantyre.
Meanwhile, a firebrand civil society leader has bemoaned Malawi is slowly sliding towards a failed state because offrequent blackouts and dry taps.
Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) executive director Gift Trapence said this after Lilongwe had no electricity the whole day on Sunday just for the electricity to return on Monday around 5pm.
Most parts of the Capital City had no water for close to a week.
“If this continues, Malawi will be a failed state. We are in a crisis of electricity, we are in a crisis of water but our leaders seem not to know this or they are as well helpless and hopeless,” he said.
He said the leaders should go beyond politics and fix the problem once and for all.
There are reports of investors leaving Malawi for war torn Mozambique but where there is conducive environment for doing business due to constant availability of water and electricity.
President Peter Mutharika says electricity problems will end after the Chinese fumded Kammwamba coal fired plant is commissioned in three years time.
Roughly 9% of the population are connected to the grid – in rural areas, this falls to about 1%.
The population is growing about 3% a year, meaning that every year the country is falling further and further behind.
The state utility, Escom, produces most of its grid power from hydroelectric installations on the Shire river. But falling water levels have hampered the reliability of this source.
To try and get more people on the grid the government is opening up the energy market to independent producers .
Energy Minister, Bright Msaka, told BBC Newsday that this opening up of the market will make a significant difference.
He said Malawi would produce an extra 200MW of solar energy by 2019.
“We have to make sure that the people who come to invest in the power sector in Malawi are able to make a profit,” Msaka said.
“Either you have cheap power that is inadequate or you have adequate power for which you pay the appropriate price.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :