The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) has increased load shedding in the country to 15 hours a day due to maintenance works.
In a press statement dated 9th April 2020, and signed by Hazel Zulu, its Public Relations Manager, the power utility informed the nation about the move and urged the nation to use the available energy wisely.
“ZESCO limited wishes to inform its esteemed customers and the general public that there will be a reduction in power supply country wide for a period of (10) ten days starting 8th of April 2020 due to loss of supply of 132MW from one of the independent power producers resulting from a fault on one of the generating units,” reads part of the statement.
The power company added that the maintenance works will result in longer periods of load shedding up to 15 hours a day.
“It should be noted that this additional load shedding has become essential in order to protect the power system from collapse and ensure that the available electricity is distributed equally to all our customers,” added the power company.
ZESCO went further to appeal to its customers to use the available power sparingly and employ conservation methods of using electricity, such as switching lights and electrical appliances when not in use.
The power utility also urged its customers to consider the idea of migrating to use of gas for cooking and solar energy for lighting.
Meanwhile, a frustrated Kwamwena resident had no kind words for the power utility.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 and as a way of preventing further spread, a number of companies have allowed their workers to work from home. However, in some areas like Kwamwena there is load-shedding on a daily basis for more than eight hours. In view of what is going on, how will people and companies survive? Zesco should be considerate at this point to ensure that power supply is not disturbed. This will affect the fight against the pandemic.
“With load-shedding, some workers who could afford to work from home are being forced out of self-quarantine back to the offices. This battle is for everyone, including Zesco. Moreover, there are schools that are also providing online lessons. However, these are also being hampered by lack of power because electronic gadgets cannot be sustained for longer hours without power,” fumed the resident who refused to reveal his identity.