MINISTER of Energy and Water Development Dora Siliya says Government is working on short-term measures to reduce load shedding and make power rationing predictable to enable the business sector to plan.
Ms Siliya told a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that as a short-term measure, Government wants consistence and predictability in the manner power is rationed to protect businesses.
“We will import a further 148 megawatts of power from Mozambique to reduce the current deficit of 700 megawatts we have as a nation,” Ms Siliya said.
The minister said the current power crisis the nation is facing is not a Government problem but a national emergency that requires the input of everyone to resolve.
Ms Siliya said as a long-term and sustainable measure, Government is considering renewable energy such as solar.
“As a matter of fact, on Monday we will have a meeting starting as early as 07:00 hours at Mulungushi International Conference Centre to specifically look at how best we will tackle this national emergency,” she said.
Ms Siliya urged the media to help inform the nation on the measures Government is taking to resolve the power deficit.
“The media has a critical role in all this. As a ministry, we will soon engage you to help the nation understand that we are working round the clock to fix this emergency that has befallen us as a nation,” Ms Siliya said.
And the European Union (EU) has earmarked over €200 million for investment in the energy sector to help Zambia grow and address challenges in the industry.
Incoming head of EU delegation to Zambia and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Alessandro Mariani said the EU will continue supporting initiatives in different sectors of the economy to enhance growth.
In an interview on Friday, Mr Mariani said the funding will make great impact in the development of the energy sector.
“There is another sector of concentration of our support which is the energy sector. With the energy sector the resources which have been earmarked for development is €244 million.
The investment in the sector is more relevant today than it was a year ago when the decision was taken to [fund the energy sector in Zambia]. So this shows that there is a vision and willingness by Government and the EU to be working in partnership,” he said.
Mr Mariani said investment in the sector will enable the country accelerate economic growth and improve competitiveness through increased access to clean and reliable energy
He said the funding provides more opportunities for Zambia to continue with its developmental agenda.