GOVERNMENT should seriously consider coming up with innovative ways of moving water from the northern parts of Zambia to the Kariba dam for generation of electricity, says Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) head of monitoring and evaluation Salim Kaunda.
Mr Kaunda said the northern parts of the country have ample water supply which could be diverted to Kariba lake for power generation using innovative methods of transporting the water.
“In the northern part of Zambia, we have had adequate water supply for years and so it is high time we become more innovative and take this water to Kariba instead of waiting for the conventional rainfall pattern.
“They can look at ways of transmitting that water in the northern part of the country to Kariba. It is time to think outside the box. We also have to ensure that we enhance renewable energy,” he said.
Mr Kaunda challenged the water bodies to measure the amount of water Zambia has in the water bodies of Northern Province for easy identification of which lakes had enough water for transmission to Kariba.
“Even as projects are being launched today, we do not know how much possibility is there; we had some rains but some rainfall are not being captured through water management.
“Are we capturing the amount of water that we need in the dams because it’s been raining, we want to know how much the water bodies are capturing,” he said.
He also said there was need to support Government’s efforts in coming up with innovative ways of power generation because electricity demand increased as the population grew.
Mr Kaunda challenged the mines to develop new ways of generating their own power to avoid load shedding which disrupts operations.
Mr Kaunda said in an interview that the mines that consumed more than 50 percent of power needed to find alternatives to generating their own electricity to even supply residential areas.
“Mines use more than 50 percent of energy and what that means is that even the mines as they sustain their operations they can also look at what they can do to ensure that energy is sufficient,” he said.
He said the mining companies and the Government could come up with an agreement on how much power the mines could manage to generate with regards to the losses encountered.
“They have to come up with innovations such as mini-hydro projects within their means and that will help the utility company to channel some power to residential areas. That will allow them to mine more minerals and avoid having a dry spell of operations,” he said.