Views: 496, Date:29/Nov/2015


Zambian businesses pummelled by power cuts

During an afternoon power cut in the Lusaka township of Bauleni, 52-year-old Stanford Mwanza does what work he can in his carpentry workshop by varnishing a wardrobe.
Among Bauleni's 15,000 residents little stirs on streets full of normally active welders, mechanics and tyre menders during business hours, as workers wait for power to return.
Elsewhere across the Zambian capital of 1.4 million, and throughout this hydroelectric-dependent country, businesses are suffering after an erratic rainy season from last October to March this year left reservoir water levels too low, resulting in load shedding - or planned power-cuts - lasting eight to 14 hours a day.
Not everyone, however, accepts the government's blaming of rains for the energy crisis that began shortly afterwards, but has worsened since August. Everyone agrees on the outcome, though.
"It is a hell of a problem," Mr Mwanza says. "The power went at 10 this morning and now we just have to wait. Normally it takes me three weeks to finish a wardrobe but this one has taken two months."
Poor rains
Zambia had one of Africa's fastest growing economies - expanding on average 7% annually over the past five years - driven by mining of its huge copper and cobalt reserves.





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