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Monday, June 1, 2020

Kariba Dam left with 3 months’ power supply-Zimbabwe Energy Minister

Economy Kariba Dam left with 3 months’ power supply-Zimbabwe Energy Minister

File:Flood gates on the Kariba Dam wall between Zimbabwe and Zambia open ceremonially on February 20, 2015 after the two neighbors signed $294 million in deals with international investors – JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

Zimbabwe’s Energy Minister Fortune Chasi has revealed that water levels in Lake Kariba were so low that current supplies will only be able to generate power for the next 14 weeks, paving way for deeper power cuts in the country.

In a ministerial statement in the National Assembly, Chasi said the power situation was dire.

Earlier, when Chasi appeared before the Gabbuza Joel Gabuza-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy, he said heads would roll at power utility, Zesa Holdings.

He said those involved in shady energy deals, which saw the country losing millions of dollars to projects such as the Gwanda solar project, would be brought to book.

“The hydrological condition of Kariba Dam is that last week, the dam was 32% full and on Monday, it was 29% full, and if that trend continues, this means that in theory, within 14 weeks, Kariba will not be able to have power,” Chasi said.

“Zimbabwe and Zambia are allowed enough water to generate 358 megawatts (MW) and during the rainy season, they were allowed 418MW.”

Chasi said power usage was expected to rise from 350MW to 600MW during the winter season and this would worsen the situation, adding that load-shedding was here to stay.

“The shortages of foreign currency in the country has had a negative bearing on electricity supplies and the current electricity import bill is $83 million and as a result neighbouring countries are reluctant to supply electricity to Zimbabwe. We export 80MW of electricity daily to Namibia,” he said.

The country is enduring its worst rolling power cuts in three years, and although its mines have been spared so far, analysts say the cuts will hurt economic revival efforts.

Shortages of foreign currency have hampered Zimbabwe’s ability to import fuel, while Zesa is owed $200 million by government, companies and individuals.

Chasi told the Energy Committee that power blackouts lasting up to 10 hours could not be avoided as Zimbabwe is producing 1 100MW a day against a demand of 1 500MW.

The country required $96 million to import more than 200MW from regional suppliers like South Africa’s Eskom and Mozambique’s Hydro Cahora Bassa and Electricidade de Moçambique, said Chasi.

Zimbabwe owed the utilities $70 million for previous imports.

“There is no guarantee that there will be water, what we are seeing is a southward movement in water levels at Kariba. If the trend goes like that, we will probably say just after 14 weeks Kariba will not generate any megawatts,” Chasi said.

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  1. I need some advice you people especially from black women. However all are welcome to comment. Whenever me and my Swiss wife are out and about we face angry stares from mostly black women. We once had a Jamaican woman give my Swiss wife Elisa an evil look and said stop stealing our strong men. Surely is this right? Do you black women feel like men like me have been stolen from you ? Like the kariba water, we black men are free to get on with whoever we like. Elisa gets emotional about this. I love her

    • Sad situation indeed. And guess who is smiling, the Chinese because they will sell us those cheap solar panels again!

    • Same goes for Zambian men, they say rude things to Zambian women married to Nigerian men. Most Zambian men are so lazy they want women to look after them. The hard working Zambian men have good relationships and marriages. You don’t have to rich to look after your family just providing the basics is enough for most women.

  2. Zambia is immune to low levels of water in Kariba , as we told by PF rats on LT like njimbu , we were told that …

    “ because of the pragmatic able and visionary leadership of our gear humble president , Edgar Chagwa lungu, which can only be god given, Zambia is past load shedding because of the many investments in alternative power generation to karba …..”

    So I guess no load shedding in Zambia. For once well done lungu and PF , your supporters were right.


  4. Zambian govt as usual hiding this information waiting for the last day to announce that they have hired a ship from Turkey to supply power.

    • @4 Jay Jay,Yes,for them it is an opportunity to steal from Zambians rather than addressing the problem humanely! Where is Maamba’s promised increased power,where is Mozambique’s talked about extra power put at Zim and Zambia’s disposal?

  5. For those not outside Zambia, load shedding started in May here. South Africa has no electricity, not load shedding as ESKOM sheds power for days, not hours. Good luck on hoping to import from there.

    On the comments / stares from black women, how do they know you are a strong man? It is just the contrast that prompts comments. Tell Elisa to ignore them. Here where I am, it goes both ways – black women with white men and black men with white women and no stares.

  6. There was a guy that proposed that we divert Zambezi river he seemed to do his home work on the matter maybe it’s high time the government asks for solutions from local people

    • Mr Kavindele at one time suggested that a channel connecting Luapula River to the Zambezi be made. He was a lonely voice in the desert.

    • Go and take your medication, you have missed your morning dose. What has HH got to do with ZESCO?

  7. Chinese turbines installed at Kariba use more water .Hence the lack of foresight and poor management once again impact on the people.

  8. Blair it’s not a question of using more water but rather it’s about efficiency & using the correct turbine their are basically 2 types of turbines that’s reaction and impulse turbine and each turbine needs a few special arrangements (draft tube , penstock )for it to function up to maximum efficiency now am not sure what kind of turbine zesco is using but if they bought the wrong kind of turbine then their problems are bigger than falling water levels

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