Northern Region in Two Day of Blackout

Most of the areas in the Northern Region have spent the last two days in complete black out with taps running dry after four ESCOM pylons tipped over in an area called Chikwawa in Salima District.

Some people we spoke with in Mzuzu have expressed concern that their businesses and work have been grounded while foodstuffs that require refrigeration have gone bad.

The power blackout has caused water taps to run dry as the Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) largely relies on ESCOM power to serve its customers.

Chair for Mzuzu Main Market Alex Sikwese says without running water and continued rains issues of sanitation and hygiene have greatly been affected.

Sikwese says the blackout has affected their day-to-day operations and with no running water most people are now opting for unclean and untreated water to run their businesses and homes which has brought the risk of waterborne diseases.

Munthali says, "Maybe had it been that it was only just electricity it would have been OK, but otherwise we are really affected because there's no water inside the market. In the whole market, anyway, there's no water, so people are just using untreated water.”

Meanwhile, NRWB Chief Executive Officer Francis Munthali acknowledges the problem, saying the dry taps are as a result of the blackout; while on the other hand, the solar power system which they use has been affected by inadequate sunlight.

"In Mzuzu, when we have sunlight we can restart pumping again, but the clouds are too heavy. But for the other districts it means we are waiting for ESCOM because we don't have solar power there,” said Munthali.

On Sunday ESCOM confirmed that some of its poles that fell down in Salima District led to power cutoff in Kasungu and the entire Northern Region.

According to a recent statement by ESCOM, two of the initial four structures have since been repaired but restoration works are being hampered by heavy rains in Salima.

 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 28/02/2024

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