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Zesco ponders special schedule for Kafue Fisheries

NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
ZESCO says it is considering giving Kafue Fisheries Limited an isolated load shedding schedule to save its fish from dying as a result of non-functioning of the aerators and water pumps.
A total of 25,957kg of fish worth about K360,000 died on Saturday at one of Zambia’s largest and most productive fish farms as a result of insufficient oxygen in the ponds.
Zesco Limited spokesperson Henry Kapata said in an interview yesterday that Kafue Fisheries Limited has applied for specific hours to be load-shed to avoid mass mortality of fish that was experienced as a result of non-functioning aerators and water pumps on Saturday.
Mr Kapata said aerators are critical in commercial fishery because they maintain safe oxygen levels in the ponds during the night to keep the fish alive.
“And of course pumps are equally critical to top up the ponds with fresh water. Without these two, the ponds may become low in oxygen resulting in [deaths],” he said.
He said Zesco Limited is ready to dialogue with the company because it is in a crisis.
“They are in business and we are equally in business, but we have a crisis and we shall be moving towards the right direction by giving them an audience because having over 25,957 kilogrammes of fish dying can be disturbing,” Mr Kapata said.
He said the fish farm has also procured a 500 kilovolt generator to help mitigate the current power crisis.
“For now the way forward is to see how best we can address this issue by not having a repetition of what happened,” he said.
Kafue Fisheries Limited managing director Speedy Holden said the fish died on Saturday night because of a power outage that lasted 20 hours, affecting the production of oxygen to 133 ponds which is critical to the fish’s survival.

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