World Wide Fund for Nature in Zambia (WWF Zambia) says there is need for Zambia to invest in alternative sources of power.
WWF Zambia Head of Communications, Mr. Eneya Phiri said the country should promote investments in alternative sources of energy given the impact climate change has had on the country’s traditional sources of power.
Mr Phiri was speaking on the sidelines of the recently held Earth Hour event held on 25th March 2017 which saw WWF Zambia join millions of people around the world in 187 countries in celebrating another record-breaking Earth Hour event.
Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative aimed at creating awareness of people taking responsibility towards a sustainable future.
It was famously started as a lights-off event for one hour from 20:30hrs to 21:30hrs local time (hence ‘Earth Hour’) in Sydney, Australia in 2007.
“We all agree that the energy crisis which has characterized much of the past few years has had detrimental effects on our social-economic status as a country. Load-shedding has been a very unnerving term for Zambians, affecting everyone negatively from individual, household and community level.” Mr. Phiri said.
He mentioned that although the country has recently seen a reduction in load-shedding due to improved rainfall, it is crucial for Zambia to invest in alternative sources of power to reduce overdependence on hydroelectric energy.
He said, “For this reason, we partnered with various stakeholders including ZESCO, Muhanya Solar, Sunny Money, Energy Regulation Board, Zambia Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (ZPCC) and Vitalite among many others to realistically explore ways of achieving cheap, accessible and sustainable sources of power such as solar for the masses. These will complement hydroelectric energy especially in times of faults which have in the past left places in darkness for days on end.”
And speaking at the same event, Vice President Inonge Wina reiterated Government’s commitment to taking positive climate action for the benefit of the country.
Mrs. Wina said as a signatory to the Paris agreement on Climate Change which was assented to by President Lungu in 2016 which has since been ratified, Zambia has renewed its resolve to combat the impacts of climate change.
This was in a speech read on her behalf by Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Vice President Mr. Steven Mwansa.
The event, which was completely solar powered courtesy of Muhanya Solar, took place at Queensmead Stadium in Lusaka.
It combined exhibitions on alternative energy solutions from the Earth Hour partners and a massive music concert featuring prolific artists such as Slap D, Wezi, Kantu, Maureen Lilanda, Amayenge and many more.
‘Earth Hour’ was observed from 20:30-21:30 in the traditional ‘lights off’ manner amidst serenading music from the legendary Maureen Lilanda.
Notable institutions that switched off their non-essential lights during Earth Hour included Intercontinental Hotel and Stanbic Bank head office.