GOVERNMENT has charged that more investment needs to be channelled into non-hydro power generation in light of the shortage in hydropower supply due to receding water levels.
Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili said the Government is alive to the fact that the country can no longer rely on hydropower and is focused on investing in non-hydro electricity.
“In this vein, Government agrees with stakeholders calling for more investment in thermal power generation so that citizens as well as industries have a fall-back whenever there is a deficit in power generation,” he said.
Zesco has been compelled to reduce power generation at its major power station following the poor rainfall experienced during the 2014/2015 rainy season and has embarked on loadshedding to manage the electricity that is available.
Government regrets this scenario but believes long term solutions that involve more investment in other power generation ventures other than hydropower generation, would help the country and its citizens.
Mr Kambwili who is also Information and Broadcasting Services minister added that while Government appreciates the current challenges being faced in power generation, it feels sentiments like those coming from the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) general secretary Cosmas Mukuka are unfortunate and unhelpful as they do not provide the solutions being sought.
“What Mr Mukuka and the technocrats in the energy sector should be debating now, are alternative and viable solutions to the shortage of hydro-electricity in the event of low rainfall as the case is now,” he said.
The minister said Government encourages all citizens to come up with suggestions to ending the power crisis in both the short and long term.
“It is also significant to note that Zambia is not the only country in the sub-region facing power shortages. South Africa and other neighbouring countries are equally faced with the same problem.”