Minister’s directive hits industrial operations hard, deprives people water

The directive by Energy Minister Ibrahim Matola at public power generating firm Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to keep the country’s capital city, Lilongwe, alight during the Sadc summit has hit hard productivity of the industrial sector and led to dry taps across the country.

Matola strongly warned Escom last week to see to it that the country does not experience blackouts during the forthcoming Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Heads of State and Government summit.

He said this during a surprise visit to Escom offices in Blantyre.

The Sadc summit will run from August 10 to 18 in Lilongwe.

“August is a busy a month considering that we have a lot of activities taking place here in Malawi such as the Sadc summit, International Youth Conference and the conference for former first ladies.

Matola: Let there be power all times during SADC summit
Matola: Let there be power all times during SADC summit

“So, we don’t another embarrassment as it happened last time,” warned Matola.

Due to this, Escom had notified and directed its customers and many players in the country’s industrial sector to cut down their consumption of power so that Lilongwe should have adequate and uninterrupted electricity supply.

This is coming at a time when tobacco sales are through and processing of the leaf is supposed to be running full throttle for companies to conclude exporting the semi processed tobacco.

One the other hand many manufacturers in the country have cut down their production shifts leading to loss of business in sales while workers earnings are reduced as well during this period.

For households, there has been more erratic water supply in Blantyre and surrounding areas because of the minister’s directive.

In a statement, Blantyre Water Board (BWB) said it reduced its pumping at Walker’s Ferry and Chileka Pumping stations from Thursday this week and that this will run up to next week.

“This follows a plea from Escom to preserve enough power during the Sadc heads of state summit which will take place in Lilongwe. Consequently, water supply will be interrupted in most parts of Blantyre City and surrounding areas,” BWB said.

While apologising to customers for the inconvenience the water disruption has brought, BWB has appealed to its customers to reserve enough water and use it sparingly for the period Malawi is hosting the summit.

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