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Continued Blackouts Rile Businesspeople

Businesspeople in the country have pleaded with the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) and the government to resolve the continued blackouts, saying they have a huge impact on the livelihoods of people.

It is now close to eight months since ESCOM started rationing power with different areas having to go for not less than six hours with electricity after flood, induced by Cyclone Ana, damaged the country’s main power hub, Kapichiri Hydrop Power Station.

The situation got worse at the weekend when power had to off for 14 hours on Saturday and Sunday because the Energy Generation Company (EGENCO) had to repair another machine.

One of the businessowners who runs an exclusive salon in Lilongwe articulated how his life has changed: “We rely on electricity to operate our business hence the issue has highly affected us, as we cannot afford to make money enough to buy one meal a day.”

“We understand that they are a lot of issues in the country that needs attention but this issue should seriously be looked into as it is affecting our sources of income,” said the man asking only to be identified as Mussa.

Another businessperson Anes Tikondowe she says most of her goods decay since they are fresh products.

She said: “Most of the money we made is used to purchase fuel in order to keep the refrigerator on throughout the day,”

Rehema Moyo fears her business is slowly going down as sales have declined.

“We no longer pay salaries in time like before since the pace of sales is very slow with the less money made by the end of the day,” Moyo said.

Public Relations Officer for ESCOM Kitty Chingota says they understand the concerns of their customers hence are working toward having other suppliers of power outside the country.

(By Doreen Shamiel Phiri)

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