The water levels have since fallen exposing anti-vortex beams, which are not supposed to be above the water surface
The water levels have since fallen exposing anti-vortex beams, which are not supposed to be above the water surface

State power utility ZESCO says the water levels in Kariba, Itezhi-Tezhi and Kafue Gorge reservoirs are still too low to warrant increased power generation.

ZESCO says the water levels at Itezhi-Tezhi and Kafue Gorge reservoirs have not appreciated sufficiently to allow for normal generation, hence its decision to maintain the generation level at 540 MW out of a capacity of 990 MW.

Giving an update on water situation and status of electricity generation in the country, ZESCO said the reservoir level at Kariba was drawn down to a low of 477.12 metres above Kariba datum by 22 February 2016 which represents 11% of the full storage of the reservoir.

It said the reservoir has now risen to 14% of the full storage. This time last year, Kariba was at 64% of full storage.

“At the beginning of 2016, Zambezi River Authority allocated ZESCO Limited and Kariba Hydro Power Company of Zimbabwe 20 billion cubic metres of water for power generation compared to 40.25 cubic metres that was allocated last year. This further reduction in water allocation translates to reduced generation at Kariba from 500MW last year to 275 MW currently. Similarly, the generation at the newly commissioned Itezhi Tezhi Hydro Power Station is at 60 MW out of a capacity of 120MW,” it said.

It added, “In short, the reservoirs at Kariba, Itezhi-tezhi and Kafue Gorge are still very low, and therefore cannot allow for increased generation of electricity. It is hoped that the country will continue to receive significant amounts of rainfall which will gradually attain desired levels in the reservoirs to warrant increased power generation.”

The power utility says it has been carrying out load management from June 2015, in an effort to sustain the water levels in the reservoirs, which had fallen to critical low levels.

“In this vein, ZESCO urges its esteemed customers to continue using electricity efficiently, and switch to alternative sources of energy such as solar and liquefied petroleum gas. ZESCO will also continue with its mitigation measures to cushion the impact of loadshedding,” it said. 

“ZESCO would like to take this opportunity to inform its customers and the general public that the 100MW from Karpowership in Mozambique will be available from 15th March 2016. This is part of the mitigation measures that ZESCO is implementing. ZESCO once again sincerely apologises for the inconvenience the country is experiencing due to the power deficit.”

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47 COMMENTS

  1. Why are levels low? Tell us about the incompetence and the Chinese machinery that lets out more water that was corruptly bought by PF cadres.

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    • Either I am dull or the Chaps at ZESCO are. Quote

      “It said the reservoir has now risen to 14% of the full storage. This time last year, Kariba was at 64% of full storage.”

      This means from Feb 2015 to June 205 (when the load-shedding started), the Kariba was drained from 64% capacity to below critical level in 4 months. From this I don’t see how the cause of load-shedding can be attributed to insufficient/poor rainfall. More like careless management somewhere to me

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    • These are Pathetic Failures (PF)!
      Poorly Faded (PF) are yapping that it is “global” ~Kambwili et al~(2014;2015;2016). The visionless PF is also stuck in the illusion that, the rest of Sub Sahara African states have received gigantic rains, but only “few showers” in Zambia?
      Lick out! PFs ZESCO alludes that ” the 100MW from Karpowership in Mozambique will be available from 15th March 2016″. Het weer op de la casa, WAKE up from SLUMBER, today is 17~3~16 & 15~3~16 was past Tuesday. Yet load shedding is more than perpetuations’ of the last 3 years today.
      People won’t eat PFs “global” lullaby & tired of endless & visionless mediocrity.
      PF accept your failures of shot legged lies & time to vote is epic lol, come 11~8, its history to PF & birth is UPND.
      Vote Wisely!
      The Skeleton…

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    • Foolish Zesco you even have the audacity of saying that this same time last year the level was at 64%. Where did you take our water? There is a big problem, 1, did you repair the crack? Second the machines you installed from where did get them? You know what? Your PF thing has just lost it because of you lazy managers. We know that most of you are political appointees and are busy building houses. Kachema will soon catch up with you. Even your load shedding is foolishly done, look at Mtendere, Mtendere east and PHI. The later always has power but look at the majority in the East of Mtedere, no power from morning until 20:00hrs….Really you done EL no good and he seems not to see that…. You just sunk his boat.

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    • According to Frank Bwalya and the PF the water levels are low because the opposition has drawn most of the water in order to cause load shedding. Pathetic Failures (PF) indeed. How did Zambia end up being ruled by these clowns who cannot see beyond their noses?

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    • Lusaka times, dont rely too much on what ZESCO tells you. Go to Kariba and verify. You cant keep on showing us an October 2015 picture of water levels

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    • Zambia is currently facing a critical shortage of electricity which is attributed to drought. Others, such as Dr Guy Scott, attribute it to water mismanagement. The Zambezi River authority regulates the usage of the water in the Kariba Dam between Zambia and Zimbabwe. According to Dr Guy Scott, Zambezi River Authority is a weak regulator sitting between two puppies drinking milk from the same saucer. If one does not lick fast enough, it will not get as much as the other one. The equity between and the neutrality of that installation has got to be restored somehow by effectively bringing back the judgmental status of the neutral body and the discipline between the two countries.

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    • Cont’d. It needs to be built into something which you can rely upon such that you are not going to finish the water by September and then look for another source like the ship stranded on the shores of Mozambique. This has been made much worse, he continues, by the 360 MW contraption which was turned on last year. I am the one who turned it on and I said, “Is there enough water for this?” It was a huge contraption and everybody said yes, but we were only taking the peeks, anyway. When I went to sleep at the hotel down from the Kariba Dam, all night and morning the water gushed past. Once they had their toy, they pushed the button, turned it on and left it and down went the water.”

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    • ZESCO lied to the Acting President when they said “but we are only taking the peeks” i.e. using the machines during peak periods only and heads should have rolled at ZESCO. These 2 machines added to the 4 existing machines brought the total machines to 6. These 6 machines were running continuously and it is therefore not the fault of the make of the machines. It is ridiculous to suggest that UPND would have acted differently based on this expert advice from ZESCO.

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  2. what chinese machinery are you talking,still a stereotype i see in case you didnt know almost everything comes from china now if you crack open the computer you are using you will find its made in china or some components in it even your phone and clothes,the issue is incompetence and lack of diversification in the energy sector and pretty much any department in our government,there is zero accountability and no contigence measures in place

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    • It’s been all over the net. The turbines that are in use are substandard Chinese bought machines which need more water to generate the same amount of power the old ones did with less water. The assumption here is that they cost less than what is required and therefore somebody in PF helped himself/herself to the difference in price which could be millions of dollars.

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    • That depends on the price youpay my friend.
      If you are cutting corners and wanting kickbacks as the PF caders who bought those generators did, you can forget reliability. Even the makers of those turbines have not come out to defend thier equipment as a reputable company should that wants to defend their reputation.
      Those are gonga turbines.

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    • @opa, you are sidestepping the fact that the Chinese will make what you are able to pay for. Yes, there are fantastic quality stuff coming out of China – most supervised by the brand names. However, there are also those that are made for your corrupt politicians who will get a million and pay a 100K and pocket 90% of what they should have actually spent on something reliable and durable. Don’t you ever forget that!!! No one is dissing the Chinese. Most of us know what your politicians are doing to your own people! Now get back to the corner until your name is called!!

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    • Opa
      The concerns you have raised are consistent, bravo to you.
      However, what @ Outside Looking In & Spaka Like Lilo have also said is legit. The visionless PF bought poor Chinese turbans instead of upgrading the dams with the specific & British equipments in originality, but alas.
      Offcourse, “almost everything is made in China” but NOT ALL is great for global economies. However, the Kaloba PF got slithered their bellies & no priorities for the citizens.
      Surely a Govt with vision would have had bilateral discourse over this ongoing problematic for loads of shedding with Britain or Germany Machinery.
      Vote Jameson Whiskey Out, its got no vision, hence a Kachema for Beef & Milk is economic growth & wealth.
      The Skeleton Key
      ~206~

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    • Not with power generation equipment which is predominantly GEC worldwide. Please avoid comment with you are not an expert on certain matters. Power generation is not like buying clothes from china.

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  3. Now suddenly this lake has found a new political role to play. Almost every week some clueless leader has to harp some nonsense about the water level.

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    • The water level is quick low(Not in picture coz the picture is old) but one should ask what is causing it. To reach where we are we need three consective droughts…

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  4. @1.1 – Politiko. My thoughts too. There is something amiss here. The capacity of Kariba Dam is about 180 billion m3. If this time last year it was at 64% capacity (115 billion m3) and today it is at 14% (27 billion m3), are we supposed to believe that the difference (88 billion m3) has been prudently used to generate electricity? The figures do not reconcile with the story once you factor in the load-shedding that started back in June 2015. Yes, there has been a drought, but where has the water gone? If the water was intentionally spilt out to reduce lateral force on the aging Dam wall, why not simply come out in the open with factual figures and prove it?

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    • The effciency Hypothesis of the acquired turbines has your answer Cactus and Politiko….every engineer knows this is the problem…efficiency (input load versus output)…turbine reaping twice as much cumecs of water, but cutting out three-fold low energy output compared to the old turbines…..but site engineers are damn too scared to say nothing, coz they will lose their jobs and no-one is gonna feed their families man!

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  5. If this PF was a serious party of thinking people, 80% of the population should have been using solar power during the day. But they are so consumed by looting eurobonds that they forgot to put in place measures to encourage use of solar pannels.

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  6. Fellow bloggers and those who can – PLEASE I beg you, take government out of the energy misery, especially as they try to now harness the solar energy platform and take us on another 50-year hostage jaunt. I would love to see as many of my fellow citizens as possible get access to solar panels to power their homes, even if it is just for lighting. Please!!! Allow ZESCO in that space and soon there will be dim sunshine to light up the country!! PLEASE!!!

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  7. It is stupidity of the highest kind for some one learned so to say, to give a report that is nothing but empty of detailed solutions that is likely to stop the uncalled for LOAD SHEDDING the country is experiencing. What has changed in the rainfall pattern, i am now over 30 yrs old, i can tell you that Zambia both last year and this year has continued to receive a fare share of rains. So just tell us the truth

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  8. @ JC, check my explanation at 9.2…I hope that answers you concerns…Thanks

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    • But why should engineers fear for their families if they were the ones who endorsed specs for the new turbines? They should own up unless you are saying the Chinese were too clever for them? This brings me to the work culture of us Zambians, we leave things to sort themselves in preference for comfort zone, leisure! No commitment, we just love rolling in pajeros and landcruisers and drink at expensive resorts daily, what a shame!

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    • I totally agree with you, there are too many drunks at Zesco right from the topmost, I really wonder how he was appointed.

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  9. Foolish Zesco you even have the audacity of saying that this same time last year the level was at 64%. Where did you take our water? There is a big problem, 1, did you repair the crack? Second the machines you installed from where did get them? You know what? Your PF thing has just lost it because of you lazy managers. We know that most of you are political appointees and are busy building houses. Kachema will soon catch up with you. Even your load shedding is foolishly done, look at Mtendere, Mtendere east and PHI. The later always has power but look at the majority in the East of Mtedere, no power from morning until 20:00hrs….Really you done EL no good and he seems not to see that…. You just sunk his boat.

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  10. South Afrikan politicians have started squealing on the Guptas. It is time we dismantle the injustices wrecked upon our people by telling the truth – even if it is for once in our fcuking lifetimes!!!

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  11. @Illuminati,
    Of course it’s the questionable efficiency of the Turbines in place, among other empirical factors. But don’t you think it’s hilarious to give some of these educated but blind supporters enough rope to hung themselves. Now that the “its globo” excuse is getting expended, sooner or later someone is going to come up with another goofy one. Like> ‘Kariba Dam has caused numerous earthquakes in the area due to the 115 Billion metric tonnes weight of water located in a tectonically active area, at the southern end of the African Rift Valle. 20 of them larger than magnitude 5 on the Richter scale. So to save lives, we have had to release some water blah…blah’. How about ‘Extraordinary evaporation?/or seepage?’ or ‘Accelerated irrigation along the Kariba Dam due to development’…

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    • Cont’d … From the tone of this article, its clear that ZESCO is not done lying yet. So the show goes on, unfortunately. And the Country suffers.
      What we have to realise is “Defining the problem correctly is solving 50% of that problem”

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  12. Aren’t the Itezhi tezhi and Kafue Gorge storage dams low too? Did they also install ‘Chinese machinery’? But upnd dweebs, awe surefyee!! Isn’t Cabora bassa in dire straits too? South Africa imports a lot of power from Mozambique, why has Mozambique cut on the exports? ‘Chinese machinery?’or your stolid hydrological euphoria that you’re churning- be realistic and stop this nonsense of ‘single story perspective!’

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  13. UPND dweebs indeed, in any case those machines were not bought by PF but MMD, Sata just went to commission them. UPND morons please verify your facts before you openly show your stupidity and ignorance on this forum.

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  14. Why was ZESCO fined about $600,000 by Zambezi River Authority? Why haven’t we had such fine in the past, why now? It’s just mismanagement at its best! you can not expect to have brutes such as Jugde ngoma as a manager ku ZESCO and expect efficiency, hell No!!!!

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