Republican President Michael Sata has commissioned the first Generator unit at the $278 million Kariba North Bank extension power station which is expected to generate 360 Mega Watts of power.
Speaking during the commission in Siavonga District today, President Sata said that the launch is the beginning of the fight against load shading in the country and shows the commitment of the government to end load shading.
Mr Sata said that the construction of the Kariba North Bank Extension Power station, the first of its kind in 36 years was the beginning of the fight against load shedding.
He commended the Chinese Government and Synohydro for extending the Kariba North Bank power station and urged them to do more.
“I am grateful to the Chinese Government because these are the things l begged for when l went to their country so my trip was worth it,” the President said
Mr Sata said that the commissioning of the extension power station would improve power supply and create a better Zambia for the people.
He said Government intended to exploit the power sector which was currently at 6000 Mega Watts.
“Government and ZESCO are working together to kill load shedding once and for all. As part of the power extension we want to supply reliable power to all Zambians,” he said.
He explained that electricity was not just meant for the rich but for all Zambians.
He said it was sad that the poor people of Siavonga who were displaced to pave way for the construction of the Kariba dam power station were still suffering without electricity.
President Sata has since urged ZESCO to ensure that all traditional leaders are connected to the electricity grid because of the pivotal role traditional leaders play in the social and economic development of the country.
He lamented that 49 years after independence Zambia still imports engineers from China to produce electricity wondering when Zambia will have such engineers.
He said that the Patriotic Front government is implementing so many projects across the country aimed at improving the electricity supply so that as many people can have access to electricity.
And speaking during the handover of Siavonga Secondary School which has been upgraded into an ultra-modern boarding school by ZESCO at a total cost of eighty point eight million dollars, President Sata urged Education Minister John Phiri to ensure that all schools in the country are connected to electricity.
Speaking earlier, Energy Minister, Christopher Yaluma applauded Sinohydro Corporation Limited of China,the contractor contracted to construct the Generator Unit as well as upgrading Siavonga Secondary school, for doing a quality job.
Mr. Yaluma said that the commissioning of the generator unit at Kariba north bank will address all the challenges the energy sector is facing such as load shading.
And Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Zhou Yuxiao said that the Chinese Government appreciated the cordial relationship that China shares with Zambia and will continue to finance projects that will improve the living standards of the people.
Speaking earlier, Education Minister, John Phiri, said the PF government has so far built 113 schools since assuming office in 2011 and will continue to put in place policies aimed at improving the education sector in the country.
Dr. Phiri said that government remained committed to ensuring that children have access to quality education.