MERA concern over causes of fire

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Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) in Lilongwe expressed concern over the electricity supply industry causing incidences of fires and electrocutions.

Board Chairperson of MERA, Joseph Bvumbwe said this on Wednesday when he opened the Stakeholders’ Consultation workshop on newly developed guidelines for electrical installation’s inspectors at Sunbird Capital Hotel in Lilongwe.

He said cases of fires and electrocution have been reported countrywide despite other quality monitoring programmes being implemented by MERA.

Bvumbwe said MERA has drafted electoral inspection guidelines to ensure that electrical installation process is up to standards and avoid occurrences of fires and electrocutions.

“We have developed guidelines which are aimed to enforce standards in the electricity supply industry, to reduce risk of electrical fires and electrocutions that cause damage to property and injury to Humans,” he explained.

Bvumbwe said guidelines would provide the scope of work of the inspectors through the classification provided in section 5 of the Electricity (Amendment) Bylaws, 2018.

The Board Chair pointed out that the guidelines would provide procedures for inspection of electrical installations.

“These guidelines will cover all types of installations including existing and new installations, modifications and replacement of electrical equipment,” Bvumbwe added.

He hoped that the workshop would accord a platform to solicit comments from industry players and property owners.

Bvumbwe said contributions from industry players would greatly enrich the guidelines for electrical installation inspection in order to protect property and human life from effects of fire and electrocution in the country.

Chairperson of Electrical Contractors Association of Malawi (ELCAM), Mark Gadama said there was a need to curb illegal electrical installation in order to minimize the occurrence of fire breaks outs.

He said ELCAM is keen to work with MERA to make sure that electricity installation should be one with certified installers.

“We are having problems with illegal electrical installation among people due to preferences. Most people are opting to have their installation from uncertified personnel as they pay less unlike engaging certified installers,” Gadama observed.

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