Power outage disrupts water supply to Lusaka


POWER outages at the Iolanda Water Treatment Plant in Kafue has resulted in serious interruption of water supply to most parts of Lusaka and Kafue, says Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company marketing and public relations manager Topsy Sikalinda.

Mr Sikalinda said the plant had no power overnight which resulted in most reservoirs feeding Lusaka to completely run dry.

He said most parts of Lusaka had no water because the pump station at Iolanda was not working as a result of lack of electricity.

“Most parts of Lusaka have no water because of a power blackout that affected operations at the Iolanda Treatment Plant from Saturday midnight

“But we hope that power can be restored so that pumping can resume to avoid further loss of business on our part, and supply to our customers,” he said.

He explained that the water utility company was affected by the countrywide power outages just like all other customers on the ZESCO power grid, and called on its customers to ensure they stored enough water in case of such eventualities.

On alternative power source such as a standby generator, Mr Sikalinda said the infrastructure at the Iolanda could not run on a  such system as it was too big and required huge amounts of electricity to run.

“The infrastructure at the Kafue main treatment plant cannot run on a generator because it is too big; it requires more power. Maybe if we could invest in a power station, but right now it is not viable because there was still a lot to be done in the water sector,” he said.

And Mr Sikalinda has disclosed that this year has not been a good for the company which has been affected by the numerous construction works around Lusaka.

He said the utility company has lost huge sums of money in interruptions induced by the various roads works currently underway, including the construction of drainages and the intermittent power outages in various areas of the city.

“This year has just been bad for us (LWSC). If it is not roads contractors, it is drainage construction or power outage.

“Unfortunately this is beyond our control, just like other customers are affected in one way or the other,” he said.

And ZESCO spokesperson Henry Kapata confirmed the power outages that have hit the water treatment plant in Kafue, but said that power was restored on Sunday morning.

Mr Kapata said the blackout was as a result of routine maintenance works on the service lines feeding the water plant, but that power was restored by 08.00hours on Sunday.

“It was the usual routine maintenance services carried out on that line, which usually takes place every six months, but ZESCO is already taking power to plant,” Mr Kapata said.

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