By Cosmas Kaunga, ESCOM Outreach Officer
Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) Executive Management has challenged newly graduated 91 lines technicians to use their acquired knowledge to improve the corporation’s service delivery.
ESCOM Southern Region Manager, Mr Gilbert Chodzaza, made the call in his speech at the graduation ceremony for 53 lines technicians for the Blantyre cohort at Mpemba Training Centre on February 24 2023.
Mr Chodzadza, standing in for guest of honour, ESCOM Director of Distribution and Customer Services Mr Youngie Chewele, implored on the graduates to embrace team-work at the stations where they will be posted.
“The industry is always changing and it demands new knowledge. Your training has, therefore, come at the right time, as the knowledge you have gained will help you improve operations of the corporation,” he said.
“I also want to congratulate the facilitators for ensuring that the trainees undergo comprehensive training that will help ESCOM retain skilled technical staff who are central to provision of electricity to the customers.”
Mr Chodzadza also urged the lines technicians to take care of their health because their work is physically demanding.
Taking his turn, class representative, Alfred Munthali, said the cohort gained important knowledge that will help them advance ESCOM’s agenda of providing reliable and quality electricity supply in the country.
“The training was long but today as we graduate, we understand that all the theory and practical studies that we underwent encompassed necessary knowledge that imparted in us unique skillset, which will be crucial to the discharge of our daily duties,” he said.
Munthali, who had previously worked as a temporary employee, thanked ESCOM Management for giving the cohort permanent employment.
He further urged Management to continue absorbing temporary employees, as a way of curbing cases of vandalism.
“I would like to encourage those that are still on temporary employment to continue working hard and be exemplary, so that when such opportunities as this one opens up, they can also take advantage of them,” he said.
A similar graduation ceremony involving 38 lines technicians from Distribution and Transmission departments took place at Bridgeview Hotel in Lilongwe on the same day.
These linesmen, who were mostly former seasonal workers, underwent training in Powerlines Course for 12 months from July 26 2021, covering several modules, including Electrical Measurements, Elementary Electrical Principles, Powerline Project Planning, Powerline Surveying, General Safety, Overhead Line Technology, Maintenance Procedures, First Aid, Customer Handling and Discipline and Etiquette Course for Junior Staff.
A second cohort of 264 lines technicians from Distribution and Transmission departments is undergoing similar training in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
The training is part of ESCOM management’s effort to empower more temporary and seasonal workers with skill to enhance service delivery.
According to ESCOM Chief Operations Officer Mr Maxwell Mulimakwenda, the corporation has set five major pillars to drive its operation in the 2023/24 financial year namely; Maintenance, Faults Management, Customer Connections, Revenue Collection and Implementation of the Mozambique-Malawi Interconnection.
In his New Year message, Mr Mulimakwenda urged all staff to join hands and focus on ensuring the fulfillment of these goals and objectives..
ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE—The lines technicians