The Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), has appealed to government to invest in diverse sources of energy such as wind, thermal and biogas to reduce the impact of ZESCO’s load shedding on the country’s economy.
JCTR Outreach Regional Manager for Livingstone, George Makaha said investment in alternative sources of energy was vital since energy is a key driver of the country’s economy.
In a statement availed to ZANIS in Livingstone today, Mr. Makaha said the heavy load shedding schedule by ZESCO was negatively affecting people’s ability to live dignified lives.
“Considering the existing socio-economic conditions and levels of poverty prevailing in our country, the impact of load shedding will be felt more by the poor majority,” he said.
Mr. Makaha further said the effect of load shedding on the economy would account for the increase in the cost of production in business.
He noted that there was a potential risk of the cost being transferred to consumers through the increase in prices on both basic food items and essential non-food items.
“This may be detrimental to development as basic food items are fundamental to food security,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Makaha stated that there was a decrease of over K40 in the Basic Needs Basket (BNB) in the month of June for an average family of five in Livingstone.
He said the cost of living for May was K2, 918.78 for an average family of five but the amount reduced to K2, 874.19, resulting in a decrease of K44.59.
Mr. Makaha attributed this to an increase in availability of seasonal food items such as vegetables.
He however, said on the reverse side, commodities such as a 25 kilogram bag of mealie meal, 90 kilogram bag of charcoal and a kilogram of tea leaves increased by K1.29, K11.14 and K1.49 respectively.
“Despite the recorded decrease in the cost of living, JCTR is concerned that load shedding will affect the cost of production and consequently impact negatively on SMEs and consumers,” he said.