There is no quick fix for power deficit-COMESA

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ZESCO Limited officials inspect the waters at Lake Kariba where the utility firm generates power
ZESCO Limited officials inspect the waters at Lake Kariba where the utility firm generates power

A CLIMATE change expert says there is no immediate solution to the electricity deficit Zambia and the entire southern African region is facing apart from more investment in the energy sector.

Mclay Kanyangarara, a climate change advisor at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), says the quickest way to solve the power deficit is to promote trade in the energy sector across the Southern African region.

Dr Kanyangarara said in an interview that the solution for Zambia is in connecting to the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP).

He said the Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya power interconnector project is important because once it is fully operational, the country will be able to import power from East African countries.

“There is no immediate solution to this electricity deficit other than waiting for more rainfall or build more power plants.So, this means there is going to be shortage of electricity for a very long while.

“But the quickest way to solve this is to promote trade in energy across the region and for this to happen, we need power grids that are interconnected,” Dr Kanyangarara said.

He said there is less surplus of power in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), to which Zambia belongs, to allow for significant trade among member countries because most southern African nations are experiencing power shortages.

Dr Kanyangarara said countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland are experiencing power shortages and so not much trade can be done among SAPP member states.

In December 2014, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya signed a US$1.2 billion power inter-connector project agreement aimed at promoting trade in electricity and foster economic integration.
The inter-governmental agreement sets out principles that will define the relationship among the countries as they develop the inter-connection line.

And COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya said the power outages are not unique to Zambia as other countries across Africa are experiencing similar challenges.

Mr Ngwenya said climate change is one of the causes of power deficit in Africa, arising from less rainfall due to indiscriminate cutting of trees.

Mr Ngwenya said the power deficit cannot be solved by an individual country.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Not only is Lusaka polluted with litter, even Kariba is polluted with litter on the Zambian side. For power deficit, mismanagement in Zambia is the problem. We spent too much money on bye elections and big cabinet in Africa and oppressing the opposition when we could have solved the deficit long time ago.

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  2. The real problem is that the Colonialists had vision and planning, but since Independence we have only had clueless visonless leaders like the ones we have now.

    Imagine if the British had not built Kariba dam!

    Could these PF clowns have fixed the problem?

    They are too busy with by-elections,borrowing massive amounts money, and putting money in their own pockets than what Zambia will be like in 50 years time.

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  3. We have been talking about climate change in the last two decades. The real problem is about planning & management.
    Mundende told ECL that rainfall pattern last season was deceitful so he couldn’t anticipate the low water levels in the Kariba. Its that myopia that’s plunging this nation into darkness in almost every sector.
    ESKOM, like ZESCO, are equally a disaster who are failing to build their nuclear power plants. So using them as a yardstick is not “thinking”.
    In the ’90s we decided to connect all the districts to the national grid without increasing the generation capacity. What were we thinking? That electricity falls from heaven like manna.

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  4. Guys,
    Copper price has collapsed today.
    Devaluation of the Kwacha is imminent.
    Mines like Lubambe, Chibuluma and Mufulira must be on the verge of closing now.
    We need reassurance from Hon Chikwanda

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  5. I disagree with Dr. Kanyangarara and Mr. Ngwenya that Zambia is passing through the same phase with other Southern African Countries. Zambia is passing through this phase because of our foolishness not to size our generator to minimal low water level and failure to spread generators along the Kafue and Zambezi rivers and not to invest more to buy more generators. I will soon write why.

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