Columnists Features

Zesco, powering the hood

Torn Apart: BOYD PHIRI
THE power supply situation in the hood seems to be improving as Zesco has reduced its load shedding schedule from eight hours to four hours daily.
At least we can trust spokesperson Henry Kapata’s words that the power utility company is well on its way to achieving its electricity availability target.
Four hours a day now is encouraging compared to the eight hours back then with people having had accepted the situation with a sense of resignation.
Certainly, this is a sign that Zesco has no intentions of having load shedding introduced in the school curriculum.
Well, let’s hope some people are not already missing the long hours of load shedding, especially those fond of using load shedding as an excuse to report for work late.
I am not saying that people did not have challenges ironing their clothes without power, but the thing is, some people have adopted load shedding as one way of getting out of trouble with superiors at work places.
A lot happened in the hood during long hours of load shedding. It increased charcoal sales as it did with candles, kerosene, including condoms.
Some boys in the hood are appearing in local courts after taking the game of hide and seek with girls to extremes, of course, taking advantage of the darkness.
You have to give Zesco credit. Some people were beginning to think that from eight hours, load shedding would increase to 12 hours or even 24 hours.
And this would make the entire hood try really hard to work things out without electricity.
But certainly the company is not yet back to its full potential of powering the nation, for now let’s just say, “Zesco, powering the hood”.
That’s good news for everyone. Perhaps, hood-dwellers should not expect serious load shedding this winter when the working class need a quick warm bath every morning.
What this means for the hood is that the stress levels will also reduce after being in the worst electricity crisis.
Some people will reduce walking long distances looking for an area with electricity at a particular time in the day to have a haircut at barber shops, let alone charge their mobile phones.
This is the period when most people in the hood have come to know places beyond their boundaries in search of power to shave their beards at makeshift barbershops.
Some metal fabricators in the hood who had to wait until power came back at night to start their work are now adjusting to their normal day work schedules.
That’s good news for their wives, too. I mean, who doesn’t need warmth at night this winter.
The noise pollution from Gensets in the hood, at least from some households and business houses, is also expected to reduce.
I guess people in watering holes won’t have to say goodnight to one another early, although the evening load shedding schedule had its own benefits – like sparking off romance.
I mean, the regularity of load shedding was probably leading many adults in the hood to believe that romance was the only thing to do when the lights went off.
Someone said: “Zesco can take its electricity but it cannot take our romance in the dark”.
Any wonder you see condoms strewn all over open spaces in the hood. It has to be nothing but load shedding.
This is also the reason why you see some sex workers at night warming themselves around bonfires on street corners while waiting for clients.
Obviously, without electricity to enable one to watch a football match on TV or a favourite movie, there was little left for one to do.
Of course, I am not suggesting that the population in the hood will soar after months of sustained load shedding at night.
Nevertheless, well done Zesco, we hope load shedding will finally be a thing of the past.

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