Saturday, May 23, 2009

Electricity Malawi (ESCOM)

Welcome to Malawi in the heart of Africa. It took us awhile, but we are here.

To start with, electricity is very “green” (mostly hydro) and that is making me beam with pride. But the amount of electricity being produced would not sustain any appreciable amount of industrial growth, without a supporting act from diesel generator set(s).
So what is in store for us? First, the outfit running the electricity in this environment is called ESCOM. Things are not very pretty. Less than ten percent of the total population is enjoying or shall we say have access to electricity.
Recently, the rate has been bumped up about 50%. Folks, if you are paying electricity at the rate of say K.00 per kilowatt-hour, and with no increase in income, the rate is bumped to K.50 per kilowatt-hour, how would you take it?

What is hindering the increase in electricity production? The answer is the same malady, namely bribery and corruption. A former official of ESCOM has been marred in graft charges. Those currently running ESCOM cannot seem to get their act together.

Our grandparents sacrificed for our parents to do and have it better than they had, and our parents in turn sacrificed so we would have it better than they had, we are supposed to sacrifice for those coming after us. But that is not the case.

Folks, this is one environment where the hippos are easier to find than the cheetahs.