Escom bemoans infrastructure robbery after cyclone Freddy damage
By Llywellenie Mpasa:
The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) says theft and vandalism of some of its damaged infrastructure due to the effects of cyclone Freddy is having a significant impact in the restoration process of electricity supply.
Escom’s Public Relations Manager Kitty Chingota said this in Chirimba-Blantyre on Wednesday, during a media tour, aimed at appreciating the damage and efforts being made to ensure that the restoration efforts are carried out safely and efficiently.
She bemoaned vandalism of essential equipment such as transformers and power cables, which is negatively affecting Escom’s ability to restore and repair its electrical grid.
“The costs associated with repairing and replacing stolen or damaged equipment can be substantial, leading to reduction of the reliability and availability of electricity supply, hence causing inconvenience and economic losses for individual customers, businesses, and communities,” she said.
Chingota disclosed that Escom is acquiring new infrastructure, including 200 electricity poles to be re-erected in areas that were damaged by Cyclone Freddy.
The electricity supply company conceded that it is overwhelmed by the damage, but said it is still committed to ensuring that all customers have power supply, as they are working around the clock to rectify all faults.
She explained that while targeting essential service providers like hospitals and water boards, among others, Escom is prioritizing repairing high voltage electricity lines during the first phase of its restoration process.
“There may be intermittent power outages or reduced power supply to certain areas, as we are working on repairing and upgrading infrastructure that was damaged, to restore normalcy,” Chingota said.
She explained that restoring power supply in the aftermath of a cyclone can be a complex and challenging process, but assured the public about the progress they are making.
This came as some residents and customers complained of delays by the company in rectifying faults.