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Storm falls 12 Escom towers, vandalism contributed

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Twelve steel towers worth K630 million collapsed on Sunday, December 12 in Neno district due to a heavy storm causing inadequate power supply in Balaka, Dedza, Ntcheu and part of Lilongwe.

Senior Transmission Manager for Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) Overtone Kaponda told the daily times that the collapse of the twelve towers is mostly attributed to vandalism which has been happening in the area.

“When we did our preliminary assessment we discovered that most of the towers that have fallen down were vandalized. Most of the pieces that are critical and are at the bottom of the tower were removed from the towers,” Kaponda said

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This development, Kaponda added, made the Towers weak to stand the heavy storm that came.

Falling down of one tower, he said, caused the other towers to fall down as well since the towers have a domino effect.

Precious Mpekansambo, who is the Control of Security Services at Escom said that four culprits have so far been arrested for stealing the tower members from the site.

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Meanwhile, temporary structures are being put in place to help provide power for the affected areas. Escom officials told journalists during a tour of the collapsed towers that the towers cost K12 million each, which adds to a total cost of K144 million for the 12 towers, and that for the buying and installation of new structures, K630 million is needed and can take about a year to install.

Kaponda sa i d that the temporary structures that are being put in place will take about a week to be completed and that the people in the affected areas should expect more blackouts.

Currently, Malawi is facing power shortages due to low water levels in the Shire River, where 90 prercent of the Country’s hydroelectric power is generated.

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