THAT water levels in both the Zambezi and Kafue Rivers have further lowered means that Zambians should do more planning on the use of hydro-power as this will certainly affect the management of Zesco load shedding being experienced this year.
The country has a power deficit of about 700 megawatts and Government is already exploring ways of enhancing the regulatory framework to identify diversified areas of energy investment including renewable energy.
Zambia is currently importing 148 megawatts of power while waiting for an additional 120 megawatts that would be put on the grid after the completion of the Itezhi-tezhi hydro power construction.
It has not been the best period for Zambians as the country has been going through the worst economic crisis since the global meltdown in 2008.
With the water levels going down, it is likely that the hardships are going to continue for a little longer.
The impact of the power deficit has been adverse as critical sectors of the country’s economy have had to adjust their production levels resulting in jobs cuts in some cases.
Dora Siliya, the Minister of Energy and Water Development has just announced that Zambians should expect more load shedding with the water levels on both the Zambezi and Kafue Rivers going further down.
Since load shedding started, we seen consumers enduring an eight hour load shedding every day but with the water levels going further down, the schedule would have to become more unfriendly to safeguard the turbines.
With the increased load shedding, a passionate plea is made to Zambians to venture into alternatives to partially mitigate the power crisis.
Zambians should realize that hydro-power is not the only source of energy and entirely depending on it has dire economic consequences, especially for companies which are in manufacturing.
Instead of complaining about load shedding, manufacturing companies should either conform to the Zesco time-table or buy generator sets to boast their production level.
The thinking should be that other sources of energy might become irrelevant when water levels in Kariba dam normalises, but that a company can employ different sources of energy.
On its part, Zesco should adopt a more proactive attitude in information dissemination on the schedule of load shedding.
As it stands, now, consumers have not been informed that in fact the load shedding has been extended to half a day as a result of the further lowering levels of the water on the Zambezi and Kafue Rivers.
It is important for consumers to have a predictable schedule of load shedding and Ms Siliya is in order to direct Zesco to ensure information to consumers should be given aptly so that they could know as when their areas would have no electricity.