Electricity crisis

IT IS gratifying that Government is actively grappling with the problem of the electricity deficit that the country is experiencing because of low water levels at Kariba Dam, which is a real danger to the economy.
However it is disheartening that some political actors have politicised the calamity attributing it to poor management.
Our argument has always been that there are times in the life of a nation that narrow sectional interests must give way to the greater national cause. This is one such occasion.
Climate change has affected the entire globe. In Panama, the newly dredged canal has been partially closed because of drought which is the result of the El Nino effect.
Yesterday, Cabinet sat to find solutions to the power deficit and the meeting will be continued tomorrow to find possible solutions to the electricity crisis.
We hope that Government will come out of the meeting with practical solutions which will ensure industries continue to run.
The Zambian industrial base largely depends on hydro-power as the source of its energy and any abrupt withdrawal from the source can be devastating.
This is because not many Zambians have embraced other modern sources of power such as solar or generators.
The alternatives for majority Zambians has been charcoal which has led to deforestation which has effects of climate change which affect the rain pattern and other climatic conditions.
Already, industry managers are complaining about the negative effects of power load shedding which has reduced their production hours.
The crippling electricity crisis has left Zambia with a deficit of 560 MW, a situation which is likely to get worse.
This is because it is estimated that electricity demand in Zambia grows by 200 MW annually.
With this reality, it is important that Government finish short and long term solutions to the power crisis.
While the short term solutions should be devised in anticipation of enough rains in the coming rainy season so that the water table is reachable, the long term solution should be with the view of how Zambia can manage her economy in the absence of enough rains to fill the rivers and dams.
The load shedding that Zesco has embarked on should be proof enough that it cannot be business as usual as regards the use of energy sources such as electricity power.
It is heartening that since the power load shedding by Zesco, many industries have found alternatives such as generator sets and solar panels.
It is our belief that rather than finger pointing and playing the blame game on who in responsible for the power deficit, Zambians should come together and find means of beating the load shedding by suggesting Zesco power alternatives.
The problem we have however is everyone would like to be on hydro-power even when the alternative might be cheaper.
As Cabinet convenes tomorrow to conclude their meeting, it should not only look at hydro-power solutions but also policy decisions in the energy sector which will be long term.

Categorized | Editorial

One Response to “Electricity crisis”

  1. Dayuk says:

    I reread the article twice trying to understand if there is something new.

    The GOVERNMENT led by Mr Lungu has done a lot work in dressing the situation. The effort is overwhelming e.g independent power ( private) producers. some countries are still grappling with legislation when Zambia is ACTUALLY producing.

    Well done PF and team Zambia for effort so far


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