Chairperson of the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) Robert Mkwezalamba has stressed on the need for Malawi to invest in serious reforestation programes to replace lost vegetation. He said this contribute to improved rainfall patterns which would in the end lead to better generation of electricity in the country. Mkwezalamba said this at the end of an interface meeting between civil society organisations and officials from the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) and the Energy Generation Company (EGENCO).
The HRCC chairperson said the Malawi government needs to intensify the reforestation efforts as a long-term solution to the problems of water levels and consequent reduced power generation capacity which Malawi is facing at the moment. “The fact that Malawi depends on hydro-power means that activities which are channeled at making sure that the country receives good rains are ideal. Reforestation is one of those activities and it needs to be implemented as a long term solution to these problems,” he said.
Mkwezalamba further said on short term solutions to the problem of low electricity generation, the civil society will continue to engage with EGENCO and ESCOM to provide ideas on how the problem can be effectively addressed. “We in the civil society believe that there is a need for interfacing and cooperation with the power generation company as well as the Ministry of Energy in order to deal with this problem. There is also need for political will, we need to prioritize and invest in this sector,” Mkwezalamba added.
Recently President Peter Mutharika made a surprise visit to EGENCO and ESCOM offices in Blantyre where he expressed concern with the power problems that are being faced by the country. As of last week, ESCOM had fired and replaced it’s CEO as the power crisis intensified with 25 hour load shedding schedules.