Islanders march against blackouts

Likoma residents on Friday marched against prolonged power blackouts on the island.

The island has been hit by lengthy blackouts for two months.

The marchers, led by Public Affairs Committee (PAC) and Likoma Pastors Union, petitioned Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining to take action swiftly.

The marchers display their placards

The district’s PAC chairperson Peterson Binga said the Electricity Generation Company (Egenco) was taking the population of 14 500 for granted as the “overused diesel-powered generators” on the island in Lake Malawi break down frequently.

 “We are saying enough is enough. The islanders are not lesser Malawians. Likoma is not a dumpsite for overused generators,” he said.

Binga said PAC and Pastors Union approached Egenco for action, “but each time they had an excuse”.

The protesters marched from Likoma Airport to district commissioner Eric Nema’s office where they delivered their petition.

Nema promised to personally deliver the petition to the Principal Secretary for Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining in Lilongwe.

 “I thank the organisers because the march was peaceful and we didn’t see any strange incidences,” he said.

Likoma and Chizumulu islands are cut off from the national grid.

They are electrified by diesel-powered generators  the residents feel are overworked.

Chimwemwe Thundu, from Choko Village, said the power outages have affected water supply by Likoma Water Users Association.

The marchers have given Egenco up to July 6, the 55th Independence Anniversary, to rectify the problem.

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