from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – ZAMBIA is experiencing its worst energy crises, culminating in the Southern African country implementing 12 hours of load shedding daily.
The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) confirmed the setback on Wednesday evening, meaning millions will go half a day without power.
“ZESCO will with effect from Wednesday, 4th January 2023 adjust the hours of load shedding to twelve (12) hours daily, until further notice,” the statement from power utility read.
The corporation disclosed that its ability to meet power demand remains constrained by the drastic reduction in available water in the Kariba reserviour for electricity generation at Kariba North Bank Power Station.
“At present, the power station’s power generating capacity has been reduced from its installed 1080 MegaWatts (MW) to below 400MW,” ZESCO stated.
Further, the 150MW generator outage at Maamba Collieries Limited Power Plant had been impacted due to routine plant maintenance from January 4 to January 20, thereby exacerbating the electricity crises in the country.
“ZESCO deeply regrets the inconvenience caused,” Zambia’s power utility stated.
The increased load shedding is a blow to the economy, which was not spared the impact of the COVID-19.
The opposition Patriotic Front (PF) blamed the power challenges on the policies of the government, led by the United Party for National Development (UPND).
Christopher Kang’ombe, PF National Youth Chairperson, called for an immediate halt of power exports to neighbouring countries, in order to reduce local hours of load shedding.
A number of countries in the SADC region are suffering severe power shortages.
These include the economic powerhouse, South Africa, and neighbouring Zimbabwe.
– CAJ News