Traders in Mzuzu Main Market have expressed concern over Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi’s (Escom) failure to connect them to its national power grid since the market was gutted by fire in July this year. They argue this is impacting negatively on their business.
In an interview on Monday, market traders chairperson James Kasambara said the traders have done all they could to have the market connected to electricity.
One of the traders, Joseph Langa, who offers information technology services in the market, said he spends K4 000 a day on petrol for his genset.
“My business has been negatively affected as I cannot work without power; the money I spend on daily basis is equivalent to what I was spending monthly to pay electricity bills before we were cut out,” Langa lamented.
But Escom regional manager James Chunda said the market will be connected within the week as they have started erecting poles.
“It has taken us long to connect the market to our grid because we were liaising with the city council on how to supply because the market is congested,” he said.
Mzuzu City Council chief executive officer Thomas Chirwa said they are depending on Escom’s expertise on whether the market should have overhead or underground power lines.
“Our main concern has been putting in place safety measures to avoid fires sparked by electricity. We have, therefore, agreed that no poles will be put up on the way for a fire engine, to avoid disrupting fire officers on duty,” he said.