The selling of incandescent bulbs has been banned effective June 30 this year, the Ministry of Energy and Water Development has announced.

Energy and Water Development permanent secretary, Brigadier General Emelda Chola said this follows Government’s decision to ban the local manufacturing and importation of incandescent bulbs and other inefficient lighting devices from 1st January 2016.

She said the complete phase out of the incandescent light bulbs had been targeted for 31st December 2016.

And Brigadier General Chola has dispelled assertions that the energy saving bulbs which had been adopted were a hazard to human health due to the presence of mercury in them.

She assured Zambians that the compact fluorescent lamps commonly known as energy saving bulbs were not a threat to human health.

Gen Chola said the ministry would soon embark on a massive sensitization programme to ensure safe utilization and disposal of the compact fluorescent lamps (CFL)  in conjunction with the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA).

She noted that the importance of phasing out the incandescent light bulbs and introduction of energy saving lights was that it would cushion the energy deficit the country was currently experiencing.

The permanent secretary said the distribution and installation of energy bulbs, only compared to a power plant of 95 megawatts which would cost US$376 million to construct over a period of five years.

“In order to successfully implement this programme, government will through ZESCO limited facilitate procurement and distribution of an additional 5 million energy saving bulbs which is expected to realise additional energy savings of about 200 MW. This is equal to a virtual power plant at a cost of US$ 400 million”

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