ZAMBIA’s power utility – Zesco Ltd – has announced crippling 12-hour electricity blackouts until further notice.
Power rationing officially started on Tuesday with some areas being hit by up to eight hours of power cuts, but the extended 12-hour blackouts take immediate effect.
A statement from Zesco’s corporate affairs department says the measure is needed because of a lack of water in the Kariba dam, which is used for hydropower.
“At present, the power station’s generating capacity has been reduced from its installed 1080MegaWatts (MW) to below 400MW,” the statement reads.
It adds that the removal of a 150MW generator at Maamba Collieries Limited Power Plant for routine annual maintenance from 4 January until 20 January 2023 has exacerbated the situation.
Some Zambians have taken to social media to express their unhappiness.
Zambia and neighbouring Zimbabwe, which has also been experiencing long blackouts, share the Kariba dam for hydroelectricity generation.