The Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) has embarked on an expansion drive to increase access to electricity by clearing the connection backlog requiring meters only.
The initiative, which is one of the key components of Escom’s new strategic plan, involves the procurement of 50 000 meters at K3.5 billion in the first phase, with 30 000 metres already in stock and distributed in all the regions. The remaining 20 000 metres are on their way.
In an interview yesterday, Escom public relations manager Kitty Chingota said their target is to ensure that the backlog of meters which is currently at 11 000 is cleared first before they can start connecting new customers.
“Although we have procured more meters than our current backlog that requires meters, we will make sure that the 11 000 are connected first then we will cover additional connections,” she said.
With just 9.8 percent connected to the grid, Malawi has one of the lowest access rate to electricity in the sub-Saharan region which has an access rate of 22 percent.
Energy expert Kandi Padambo, a former chief executive officer at Escom, is on record as having said that the generation capacity is too small that increasing penetration rate without increasing generation capacity would only cause problems.