The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is planning to diversify its sources of electricity generation to reduce risks associated with power generation and distribution in the country.
Currently, 99 percent of Malawi’s power generation facilities are located along the Shire River thus exposing the country to unreliable power supply as dry spells and floods are constantly impacting on power generation and distribution.
Escom Chief Executive Officer John Kandulu says Escom is currently working on a diversification programme, which will be implemented in phases, to reduce Malawi’s overreliance on hydro-power generation.
Said Kandulu: “As a body, we are constantly operating in a very risky environment where we are faced with floods, dry spells and lack of an alternative source of power generation as we are still heavily dependent on the Shire river for the country’s hydroelectric power needs, so we are working on various iniative to ensure that these risks are reduced”.
He was speaking at the start of a weeklong Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan training workshop for Escom officials currently underway in Mangochi.
According to Kandulu, the hydro-power generation model has drained a lot of resources due to the risky operating environment that it poses.
“In January 2015 for example, the 18 days we failed to provide power to Malawians due to the floods that hit parts of the country and flooded our power generation plants in the Shire river cost us over K2 billion,” he said.
In March 2015, Escom established a Risk Management Department to oversee disaster preparedness and recovery at the institution but officials say the department has remained dormant and that the training is expected to revive its operations.