By TRYNESS MBALE
GOVERNMENT says there is need to tap other forms of energy to lessen dependence on hydro-electricity power.
Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma said Zambia has abundant water but for the country to meet the demand for electricity, there is need to invest in renewable energies.
Mr Yaluma said this in Lusaka at the just-ended two-day meeting on the inter-governmental memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the development of two hydro-electricity power stations in Luapula.
â€œWe need to diversify into others electricity generation means. We have got abundant sun and free wind. Letâ€™s extend beyond the current scope so that we also utilise other means of power generation sources,â€ he said.
On the MoU, he said there is growing demand for electricity generation to be increased due to the rise in the mining industry in Zambia and the DRC.
The MoU could not be signed on Wednesday because of the absence of DRCâ€™s minister of Hydraulic Resources and Energy, Bruno Kalala. The agreement will be finalised on a date to be announced.
Mr Yaluma said since 2007, Zambia has been grappling with very shortage of electricity, leading load shedding.
â€œThe purpose of the meeting was to come up with an intergovernmental MoU documents which will help us indeed to look at the way we can work together and look at our hydro-power generation opportunities along the Luapula river at the same time not forgetting our need for power; to satisfy our demand for DRC and Zambia as well as the region as a whole,â€ he said.
He said Zambia and the DRC have a lot of mineral resources and to exploit them there is need to massively invest in power generation.
Mr Yaluma also said there is need to fully exploit Luapula Riverâ€™s potential to construct serious interconnectors which will not only benefit Zambia and the DRC but across other countries like Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya.
â€œWhat is happening today [Wednesday] is just the beginning. We might extend it to Congo River. We are also looking at doing the same thing in Zimbabwe. So what is happening will benefit a lot of people,â€ he said.
By TRYNESS MBALE