• Initially load shedding was 12 hours now it has come to 6 hours.
• Zesco may aggravate the situation.
• For water to reach the Kariba dam from Zambezi River, it takes more than 3 to 4 months.
An Energy Expert says Zesco’s move to restructure the load shedding exercise may worsen the power challenges if water levels at Lake Kariba have not improved.
Speaking in an interview with Money FM News, Yotam Mtayachalo stated that Zesco may be reacting out of public pressure, and its decision risks getting the country into total black out in few weeks or months from now.
Mr. Mtayachalo challenged Zesco to explain how they came up with 12 hours of load shedding and clearly state if it is importing power or if there is additional power coming to the national electricity grid.
“I just hope that Zesco and the government are doing the right thing because if they are reacting maybe out of public pressure, but meanwhile at the same time they may aggravate the situation maybe it’s not helping this nation. Initially load shedding was 12 hours now they have come to 6 hours, so I think they must explain how they came up with 12 hours.”
“Is Zesco importing power from somewhere, do we have additional power coming to the national electricity grid or not? I know that this problem has been brought about because of low water levels at Kariba North Bank Power Station,” Mr. Mtayachalo stated.
He noted that for water to reach the Kariba dam from Zambezi River, it takes more than 3 to 4 months, hence the need for the country’s power utility firm to state whether its decision to restructure the load shedding will not aggravate the situation in the next few months.
“Have the water inflow at Kariba North Bank improved, if yes then it’s a good idea but if the water levels have not improved, then they are reacting because of public demand then we risk again this country to be in total black out in some few weeks or months from now. For water to reach the Kariba dam from Zambezi River it takes more than 3 to 4 months whenever it rains. So are we sure really that in the next few months we are not going to aggravate the situation,” he wondered.
Zesco has restructured the load shedding exercise by staggering each outage to a minimum of 6 hour period, effective Monday 9th January, 2023.
According to Zambezi River Authority, Kariba Lake level has started increasing in the past few days due to an increase in local rainfall activity on and around the lake.
In its latest update on the current levels at Lake Kariba, the Authority says as of 9th January 2022, the lake closed at 475.73 meters or 1.66% usable storage on 9th January 2023.