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Monday, November 28, 2022

Only 26 % of Zambians have access to Electricity

Economy Only 26 % of Zambians have access to Electricity

File: A ZESCO LTD worker working on high voltage power cables
File: A ZESCO LTD worker working on high voltage power cables

Only 26 per cent out of the country’s over 13 million population is being served with electric power, a senior Zambia Electricity and Supply Company (ZESCO) official has disclosed.

Presenting a paper on the electricity distribution and challenges in Kalomo at an Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) district focus meeting recently, Southern province Acting ZESCO Regional Manager, Bright Mwaipopo said the country’s electricity deficit still stands at 165 mega watts compared to the 1,900 mega watts the power utility company generates against the current 2,065 mega watts of customer’s demand.

Mr Mwaipopo however said with the coming up of the ‘increased access to electricity’ programme with the financial assistance from the World Bank, more people would be connected to the national grid while others are advised to use alternative sources of energy such as solar panels.

And officiating at the meeting, Kalomo District Commissioner, Patrick Phiri observed that the country had for some time now been experiencing power shortages which has resulted into load shedding which he attributed to high demand that has outstripped ZESCO’s generation capacity.

Mr Phiri however, said government was doing everything possible to address the issue.

He said works on the extension of the Kariba North Bank to give an extra 360 mega watts which are expected to be completed by January next year are progressing well while the construction of Itezhi-Tezhi hydro power station which is also expected to generate 120 mega watts once completed are some of the projects being undertaken to address the power deficit.

“Government is also facilitating the construction of two thermal power stations in Sinazongwe district which are expected to produce 900 mega watts when full production is attained. These projects and many others underway placed all over the country, such as Kabompo hydro power
project (40 mega watts), Kafue George lower (750 mega watts) once completed will contribute significantly and minimize or completely eradicate load shedding,” said Mr Phiri.

Meanwhile, Mr Mwaipopo has justified that load shedding was a mere system to protect the system from collapsing during peak hours when demand is high arguing that it was not a deliberate move as perceived by its customers that it was the time when the power company was exporting electricity to its neighbouring countries.

He said the company only exports power during times when its generation capacity is underutilized especially at night.



    • power deficit did not just happen, govt (MMD) saw it coming and did absolutely nothing about it.

      its like when you are a nkungulume and then you get married, start having a family and but you don’t adjust the size of your nshima pot. can you be described as a responsible father? absolutely not!!

      What MMD did can simply be described as criminal

    • @Gen, wena you have no shame. All the power projects that are taking place now where started by the MMD between 2001 and 2011! Upgrading of Kafue gorge from 900 to 990Mw, Victoria Falls 20 to 40Mw, upgrading and extension of Kariba North, Construction of lower Kafue, Itezhi Tezhi, Lunzua, Maamba power stations all began under the MMD!

    • coz they look at around them @ their meetings and they only c pipo with money, the parking lot full of expensive cars. what poverty, they ask?

  1. The list of power generation projects listed by Mr Mwaipopo are indeed many and commendable (That is if its true!). As an affected consumer who is (even though done with good intentions) grossly inconvenienced by ZESCO’s uncoordinated power outages, I would like Zesco management to do justice to the nation by indicating whether or not there is an Energy Master Plan for the entire country which should forecast power demand and inform Zesco on how to overcome the challenge. Ad hoc development of power plants with no targets to meet is no better that walking blind-folded in front of a firing range!

  2. What are you doing about it? Are you part of the Solution or just a cryining baby like a certain politician i know?

  3. Mr Mwaipopo your paper is a mockery. 26% wooooh, what you failed to tell the nation is that, ZESCO, for years has been used as money laundering company by BOMA. secondly high pay rise for senior staff at the expense of upgrading your power generation.
    50 years of independence, you have been singing on power generation bla..bla..bla..to hell with your story. when were you born?
    zesco, was well funded by SWEDISH government, WORLD BANK, IMF ETC, plus huge tariffs you have been milking the so called 26% of your clients. Its insane

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  5. Beloved. That is why i have a problem with load shading in Zambia. Zambia has been blessed for a very long time with abundant water bodies that rarely runs dry even during the dry season. I honestly fail to understand why some one should continue to justify load shading when a mere 26% of the population has access to Electricity. Maybe i am not thinking properly. what is happening to Electrical Engineers at ZESCO? Honestly guys and girls let us move out of this type of mediocrity and acceptance of failure in our lives. These Engineers perform wonders when they go and work in other Countries. Oh! are there other factors to this scenario? I am sure Minister Yaluma (who was at ESKOM in RSA) does not ascribe to this nonsense of load shading for 26% population

  6. We as Greenfields Energy (a German Zambian Company) based Lumuma road are very strong in Solar Photovoltaic systems that can help Zambia to overcome load shadding. Even rural electrification and Solar Irrigation is no problem. ask your government to set up more Pv-Solar Projects we have Containers of Invertres, Solar-Panels and Batteries in the country.

    But without Governmental or ZESCO Projects we can not survive and we will leave the country. Our investments gone bad experiences remains.

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