People question why the solar power plant donated by Japan not functioning


By Duncan Mlanjira 

Malawi Airline’s flight to Johannesburg via Blantyre on Friday was delayed due to ESCOM power challenges at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe, prompting the public to ask why the solar energy plant that the Japanese government donated is not functioning.

Commenting on social media, Solomon Gundadzuwa posed a thought that the country’s Immigration Department is in the process of implementing the e-passport, which in essence needs electricity to be available at the facility all the time. 

He said the e-passport shall require an uninterrupted internet services.

Jonathan Chingwalu observed that KIA has three sources of electricity through ESCOM grid, generators as well as the solar power farm the Japanese donated but then why is the power failure issue arising from?

The solar power plant was installed at the airport some five years ago and people came to the defence of the government that blame should be targeted at the KIA management.

The solar plant system

Those who were not in the know that KIA has three sources of power had attacked the government.

Vhisale Harris said it’s time Malawi upgraded by bringing in fresh minds in public institution management.

“As big as Malawi Airline is, it can’t find alternative measures in such incidents like these?” he observed.

Joanna Kalongonda-Dilawo joined in by saying: “While we are at it, they also ran out of coffee at the restaurant at the waving bay.

“The food was awful, service pathetic. They were actually selling loaves of bread at the bar inside.

“Who is running that place? Please privatize it,” she suggested. 

She added that she was there last Wednesday and found the officers using a scale meant to weigh people to weigh passengers’ bags and were being checked manually because the system was down since there was no electricity.

“The bathrooms didn’t have lights also and were very filthy. What are all those solar panels there for? Very embarrassing.”