Lake Malawi water levels and Shire River water flows have dropped as a result of low rainfalls in the past two rainy seasons. The low rainfalls have meant that Lake Malawi is unable to support the normal flow of the Shire River. Further to this, tributaries of the Shire River are also experiencing low water flows with some already drying up early in the dry season.
The reduction in water levels in Lake Malawi and water flows in the Shire River has greatly impacted the electricity generation capacity as low flow of the Shire River means a reduction in water available for power generation at our power stations. Therefore, instead of generating a maximum capacity of 351MW, ESCOM is generating an average of 200MW, leaving a capacity shortfall of 150MW. This has resulted in increased load shedding periods. The situation is expected to worsen within the year with the generation capacity reducing by 67% due to further dropping of water levels in Lake Malawi.