ESCOM Blames Local Suppliers in Delay to fix Faulty Transformers
The country's power supply body ESCOM says it is failing to maintain faulty transformers across the country due to low supply of the transformers by local manufacturers who have only thirteen out of the required eighty.
ESCOM public relations officer, Innocent Chitosi told Zodiak on Wednesday that government has just finalized processes to import the machines.
According to Chitosi, ESCOM needs eighty transformers to deal with the current issue of damaged transformers but only thirteen have been locally sourced.
"We need eighty transformers but locally we have sourced only thirteen which is a small number against our target of eighty. This is forcing us to source the remaining ones abroad," said Chitosi.
The ESCOM PRO further told Zodiak that government has finalized its procurement processes for the power supply body to start purchasing the machines from other countries.
For example people around Kambale rural growth centre in Neno district have gone for six months without electricity.
Electricity is fast becoming an economic engine especially to people living in rural areas under the Malawi Rural Electrification Program but recent damages to transformers has negatively affected the development.
Precious Sankhani, a welder at Kambale rural growth centre says he has lost close to five million kwacha in the past six months the trade centre had no electricity, thereby affecting his livelihood.
"I’m unable to meet ends due to lack of power here and life is being hard, in total I have lost close to five million Malawi kwacha and I call on ESCOM to consider us when fixing the transformers elsewhere", he said.
This development of faulty transformers has also affected women and school going children who are traveling over 20 kilometers to access milling and printing services at Neno boma.
"I’m traveling close to twenty kilometers to access milling service at Chikonde which is costly and my son can't use his laptop for studies while at times we charge it at barbershops using car batteries charged at the boma", said Martha Banda on her way to Chikonde milling centre.
Chitosi has since disclosed that weekly they are maintaining five damaged transformers due to vandalism.
According to ESCOM over 250 transformers have been damaged across the country due to numerous factors including natural disasters.