ESCOM to connect 18,000 applicants

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Malawi’s sole electricity provider Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) is yet to provide electricity to over 18,000 applicants some of whom applied in 2002.

Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola, disclosed this in parliament on Thursday when he responded to a number of questions on electrification from lawmakers.

One of the legislators wondered how ESCOM will manage to provide electricity to these applicants when the cost of materials has gone up due to currency devaluation.

“Minister, when will ESCOM supply electricity to the people of Luromo, Nkholongo, Chifyo and Mbuyu and other places in my constituency, considering that payment for installation was made in 2002?” MP Glad Munthali asked.

This question, which was one of the five questions lined up to answered by the energy minister, generated a lot of interest, considering that the problem appears to be common in various parts of the country.

“Development in these areas has stalled due to the unavailability of electricity, 11 years after the people applied for electricity from ESCOM,” said Munthali.

Then a bombshell came on the staggering number of applicants on Escom waiting list.

“My ministry is aware of the situation at these places, and ESCOM has sourced materials so that electrification could take place at least three of the areas the lawmaker has mentioned. The delay is because ESCOM is currently overwhelmed as right now about 18,000 applicants are still awaiting electrification by Escom,” Matola said.

The energy minister said electrification work in the three areas; namely, Luromo, Nkholongo, Chifyo will commence in April 2013.

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