ESCOM Restores Power Supply to Nselema Trading Centre Courtesy of Helios Towers

By Cosmas Kaunga, ESCOM Outreach Officer

There was joy at Nselema Trading Centre in Machinga District where Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) Limited reinstalled a transformer on Sunday, February 25, 2024 courtesy of Helios Towers’ donation.

ESCOM reinstalled the transformer to replace the previous one which got burnt due to overloading caused by suspected illegal connections at the trading centre.

Helios Towers, a multinational company whose business includes managing telecommunication towers, donated the transformer to ESCOM after noting that it was spending a lot of money powering its telecommunications tower at Nselema using diesel.

Speaking at a sensitization meeting which ESCOM hosted on Sunday after erecting the transformer, ESCOM Zone Engineer for the Eastern Region, Martin Mbwandira, said the previous transformer got burnt three months ago as a result of overload.

Mbwandira said cases of illegal connections have risen drastically at Nselema resulting in overloading the transformer.

“Every transformer has capacity in terms of the number of customers it can supply power to. If this limit is surpassed, the transformer risks being burnt,” he said.

Mbwandira implored all Malawians to take ownership of electricity equipment saying these are catalysts for economic development.

Helios Towers’ Head of Operations and Maintenance, Isaiah Hunga, said management of the company decided to donate the transformer to ESCOM as a gesture of goodwill.

“Having learnt that a transformer for ESCOM got burnt at Nselema where we also have operations, our management thought of donating the transformer to ESCOM to restore supply in the area. This donation will also assist us cut operating costs, as operating on diesel genset is expensive,” he said.

Abdul Kanyoza, who is a secretary for traders at Nselema, said their businesses came to a halt when the area lost power supply after the transformer got damaged.

“Our businesses cannot run effectively in the absence of power supply. I, therefore, urge all members of the community to take ownership of the newly-installed transformer to safeguard it from vandals and thieves,” he said.

Kanyoza said electricity is key to ensuring that Nselema continues to develop economically.

Agnes Mbonekela, a representative of female traders at the trading centre, said when the transformer was down, women used to travel long distances to access milling services.

“Our school-going children also could not study at night. This affected their performance in school,” she said.

“It is, therefore, crucial that everyone indulging in illegal connections in Nselema should stop forthwith so that we can safeguard our transformer and enjoy uninterrupted power supply.”

Group Village Head Mwitiya expressed his appreciation to Helios Towers and ESCOM for restoring power supply to the area.

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