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Escom warns of power blackouts

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Electricity blackouts are expected to continue in the country as the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has maintained that water levels remain low in the Shire River.

Escom has been attributing the frequent electricity blackouts in the country to low water levels in the Shire River.

In a press statement, Escom said the water levels in Lake Malawi, which is the main source of water to the Shire, have gone down to 472.97 metres above sea level from the normal 474 metres above sea level.

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The statement said water levels in the lake have only increased with an insignificant 20 millimetres since the beginning of the rain season.

“Escom needs a water flow of 264 cubic metres per second in Shire River to produce the maximum capacity of 351 Megawatts but, currently, water flow in the river is down to 115 cubic metres per second and we are generating 150 Megawatts,” reads the statement.

The statement said Shire River’s tributaries such as Lirangwe, Lisungwi, Rivirivi and Nkulumadzi rivers have been injecting significant volumes of water into the river but the contribution is inconsistent as it relies on rains.

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Department of Metrological Services Spokesperson, Jolamu Nkhokwe, said he was hopeful that the country will continue receiving more rains until April this year.

“We are going to have a lot of rains throughout the season due to the La Nina winds, especially in the southern part of the country, but we will have to wait until April or May to say we indeed have good rains,” he said.

Meanwhile, Escom is distributing LED bulbs to its customers, as one way of conserving energy.

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