An electricity shortage is hitting Zambia hard. Zesco has provided a load-shedding schedule which came into effect on January 4 and provides for long cut-off hours of up to 12 hours per day depending on the district.
The national electricity company has faced two challenges, first the shutdown of the 150 MW generator at the Maamba coal-fired power plant for maintenance and the low water level of the Kariba reservoir which supplies the main hydroelectric power station in the country.
With the drought, the capacity of the main power station in Zambia fell from 1080 MW to less than 400 MW. The normal resumption of energy activity is scheduled for January 20, according to Zesco.
Located in the Zambezi basin, on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Kariba dam is among the largest in the world and provides its countries with more than 60% of their energy needs.