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Vandalism disrupts power supply

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Blackouts will worsen in the country for some days following the collapse of an Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) tower in Machinjiri, Blantyre on Wednesday which caused a national blackout.

Escom Director of System and Market Operator Charles Kagona said the collapse was caused by vandalism where some people stole steel bars, rendering the tower unstable.

Kagona added that the tower will take about two to three days to be re-erected and its rehabilitation will cause a blockage of power from Nkula and Tedzani.

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“With this fault, the situation is worse because it means that we will not be able to transfer the power from Nkula and Tedzani to Blantyre because this line is not available. Therefore, we will have more load-shedding than what we had,” he said.

A visit to the site shows that some unscrewed joints of the tower connecting steel bars were stolen which rendered the tower unstable and it fell.

The tower carries two lines from Tedzani and Nkula with the power capacity of 66 Kilovolts.

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Kagona further lamented the problem of vandalism indicating that it heavily affects their operations and appealed to Malawians to be patriotic.

“Vandalism is so immense and it does not only affect our operations, it also affects our development plans. Instead of focusing on new projects, we are spending time on existing structures,” he said.

Earlier this year, Escom said it needed approximately K2.1 billion to renovate about 300 transformers which have been vandalised across the country.

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