Zambia Allows Zimbabwe To Use Its Water To Generate Electricity - Energy Minister
Energy minister Zhemu Soda has said Zambia has allowed Zimbabwe to use its water in Kariba Dam to generate electricity at the Kariba South Hydropower Plant.
The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) allocates 45 billion cubic metres of water to both Zimbabwe and Zambia for power generation at Kariba.
The authority said water levels have now declined beyond usable levels hence the need for Zimbabwe to cut generation at Kariba by half from about 600 megawatts (MW) while Zambia was ordered to reduce to a maximum of 800 MW.
The country relied more on Kariba hydro-energy for electricity during the winter cropping season, thereby exhausting its water allocation, NewsDay reported citing the minister.
Speaking during the official launch of a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) Fund and Stakeholder Engagement function in Harare, on Monday, Soda said:
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Because of what we were experiencing at Hwange Power Station, the faults that are currently obtaining at the boilers — we had to depend on Kariba Dam more than the Zambians did; especially during winter when we wanted to produce adequate wheat. It was a strategy and it worked because we will not import wheat because of the bumper harvest.
The cost has been on excessive use of water which was supposed to be spared. We are very aware that we overused our water and by last week, Zimbabwe had overused the water by around 5% of its allocation. We are actually using Zambian water to generate electricity for ourselves. There was a high-level meeting between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and Zambia allowed us to use its water to generate 300 megawatts.
The Energy minister said traditional source markets for power imports had been affected by climate change.
Soda said the government was encouraging power-generating institutions and households to be on the national grid.