(Youngest parliamentary aspirant 2016. Munali Constituency)
I have watched with dismay at the way matters of energy are being handled. we have organisations, shops and households which have incurred serious losses due to the ZESO outages. And the worst part is No single person from government or the electricity Cooperation has outrightly come out to give us a decisive and definitive answer on what is going on. I went around Munali constituency, people are loosing electrical appliances, others produce and so on.
Energy demand in the country has increased by over 5 times in the last 30 years or so, but no Corresponding infrastructure facilities have been erected to cope with the growing population and demand with the opening up of new mines and so on. But what surprises me further is that ZESCO still has facilities that are under utilised even with the current High demand. Being an Electrical Mechanical Engineer myself, I do understand that facilities like Lunzuwa hydroelectric power plant in mbala district has the potential to power the entire northern province but only powers a small part of Mbala district, further Kafue Gorge hydro station is not operating at full capacity, many other plants have either 1 or 2 generators not operating. To further add insult to injury, Zambia is still heavily exporting power to countries around the region but does not have enough locally, what we are doing is as good as being a restaurant owner yet your children sleep hungry. It makes no sense at all.
ZESCO should be responsible enough to explain to the nation what is going on as well as give the nation a schedule so as to allow people to plan ahead if the current erratic supply is to continue, because we have heard some alleged reports that persons on life support equipment in hospitals have passed on, some houses have caught fire, appliances have burnt out, etc. Had ZESCO forewarned the citizens, some of these sad occurrences would have been avoided. Further, the electricity supply cooperation should ensure that all their establishments are operating at full capacity before resorting to load shedding as a “fix it all” solution.
Government should be concerned and act as swiftly as possible and ensure. Zesco operates at full capacity, efficiently and effectively. Government should also consider offering licences to private companies to explore this field of business so as to provide competition and improve service delivery.. Solar , wind and nuclear energy can be explored at great lengths to see how viable this would be in a fast growing economy like Zambia.