Kariba Dam

Kariba Dam

ZIMBABWEAN Energy Minister Fortune Chasi has revealed that water levels in Lake Kariba have hit the lowest point that current supplies will only be able to generate power for the next 14 weeks, paving way for deeper power outages for Zambia and Zimbabwe, who share the facility..

In his ministerial statement in the Zimbabwean National Assembly, Chasi said power generation at the facility had become so challenging such that there was no guarantee the water levels will improve.

"There is no guarantee that there will be water, what we are seeing is a southward movement in water levels at Kariba. If the trend goes like that, we will probably say just after 14 weeks Kariba will not generate any megawatts," Chasi said. 

He said the hydrological condition of Kariba Dam as of last week Monday was at 29% full, warning that if that trend continues within 14 weeks, Kariba will not be able to have power.

He said Zambia and Zimbabwe are allowed enough water to generate 358 megawatts (MW) and during the rainy season, they were allowed 418MW.

Chasi also said power usage was expected to rise from 350MW to 600MW during the winter season and this would worsen the situation, adding that load-shedding was here to stay.

Kariba is the largest electricity producer in Zimbabwe with a capacity of 1 050MW, is generating less than a third of its installed capacity due to low water levels caused by a severe drought.

Meanwhile, the Zambian utility firm ZESCO last week announced that the country will from June 2, 2019, start experiencing four hours of load-shedding.

ZESCO Spokesperson Henry Kapata said that water levels in the water bodies in Zambia have drastically reduced compared to the same time in 2018.

He said the Victoria Falls Power Station in Livingstone currently has 882.6 metres of water above sea level compared to 883.7 metres in June 2018.

Kapata said Lake Kariba has 479.93 metres of water above sea level signifying 31% compared to 79% in June 2018.

He said equally Itezhi-Tezhi is now at 86.9% compared to last year’s 99.7 while Kafue Gorge also has reduced water levels.

Much of Southern Africa in the recent years hs experienced droughts which has been attributed to the El Nino weather.

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lake kariba ZESCO HENRY KAPATA zesa