6 rescued, 4 still missing including ESCOM staff from capsized Marine Police boat on Shire River

The Shire at the initial flooding

By Duncan Mlanjira

As of Saturday, Malawi Police Marine Unit and Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) rescued 6 people who were in a boat that capsized in the Shire River at Kasisi in Chikwawa on Thursday evening but 4 are still missing.


A statement from ESCOM said out of the rescued victims, one is their staff member, two Marine Police officers and three local community members of Chikwawa.

Two other ESCOM staff and two local community members are still missing — who are still being searched for, according to ESCOM.

An earlier statement on Friday indicated that the 10 were travelling back to base after knocking off from duty where they were repairing ESCOM infrastructure that was damaged due to effects of Tropical Cyclone Ana.

The Marine Unit boat is reported to have been impeded by an external object but rescue efforts were hampered by a sudden surge of water levels due to heavy rains.


Damage done at Kapichira Dam

Washed away drenching equipment

The Shire has several huge tributaries that contributed to massive flooding of the Lower Shire.

The floods due to Cyclone Ana destroyed a lot of ESCOM infrastructure with main destruction being at Kapichira Power Station — the first and most being Kapichira Dam, which is completely drenched with sand — its dykes washed washed and equipment destroyed with some washed away to over 14kms downstream.

As soon as danger loomed, EGENCO shut down their machines, plunging the Southern Region and other parts of the country into blackout.

Kapichira Power Station lost 130 megawatts it generates, which is 32% of the power of the national grid and to repair the extensive damage caused and restore power lost, EGENCO needs over K18 billion.

From then on, EGENCO and ESCOM were rationing power supply up while the whole of the Lower Shire was completely without power due to destroyed lines and other supply equipment.

Thus the results of the accident on the Shire, which was an alternative to ferry ESCOM staff members working to restore power to parts where it is inaccessible by road.