So, my spring break started with a bang! Or more like a power outage that I had to live with all weekend long! But since I did not have anything due and had the mother of all migraines, I was OK with it and did not let it upset me too much. We have a generator and so if we get into a dire need, we can always power that monster up and everything will be OK. But burned by the latest fuel shortages Mark was hesitant to get the thing going until I told him I was getting high on the kerosene lamp fumes and soon will be addicted to them to the point of having withdrawal symptoms once the power came back on.
All jokes aside, I am fed up with all the power cuts. The last week before spring break the power would go out every single morning and I would have to get my kids ready in the dark with the kerosene lamps going. There were a couple of times when I was talking to my classmates in Live Messenger and was interrupted due to the cuts. One classmate even thought that I got offended at something he said because I forgot to warn him that I may vanish at any given time. Why do these power cuts happen? ESCOM is to blame!!! ESCOM is Malawi’s one and only electric company that just does not “cut the mustard” when it comes to providing regular and reliable service. I mean, even their website does not work so I had to use an alternative link for you to follow! A few months back the company was sued for the logo they display “Power all day, every day!” because no one ever has it! A few months back the Chief Executive of ESCOM was fired on corruption charges and mismanagement of funds. This week I’ve learned that the EU donated 5.8 billions of Malawi Kwacha to help fight poverty in Malawi and to boost electricity production. I hope the money will go to its intended destination and not to line the pockets of people at the top. ESCOM equipment is falling apart and at present 2 of the 4 main generators are out of order! Some things ESCOM is unable to control, things like people stealing the oil needed to lubricate the power transformer. They use the oil to fry potatoes and sell to the public. There is also the theft of electrical wires to make intricate bracelets to sell as souvenirs to tourists.
I do hope that in the near future we will be able to enjoy a steady supply with no interruption. For it to happen the ESCOM executives need to stop lining their pockets with the profits and try to repair some of the equipment with those funds. And people of Malawi need to realize that they are only hurting themselves when they vandalize the important electrical equipment needed to bring power to their homes and huts!
If any of you who are related to ESCOM are reading this, please, don’t cut my power supply! One day you may do it in the middle of my taking Dr. Evil’s exam and he allows us to reset it one time only!