Analysis: RACHEL TETAMASHIMBA
SOCIO-ECONOMIC development is every developing country’s pursuit and Zambia is not an exception. Government’s mandate is that of providing its people with quality social and economic services such as health, education and energy, to mention a few.
However, the unfolding effects of climate change are slowly impacting on the development agenda of every country as resources used to develop a country continue becoming scarce. This has been exacerbated by the increase in population that has led to increased demand for these resources.
Most citizens in various countries look up to Government to solve their problems, but what we forget is that every citizen has a role to play so as to supplement Government efforts. In the recent past, Zambia has had challenges in the energy sector. The country faced low water levels in the major water reservoirs that supply the resource to generate electricity.
This resulted in about 5-8 hours of load shedding. The situation was traced to low rainfall experienced in 2014/2015 rain season. The latter is supported by Ms Agness Shikabi, who stated that this situation is “evidence that humans have overtime stretched mother earth’s resource base”. As a result, the human species, as is the case with any other species in the ecosystem, has become very vulnerable to climatic effects and water stress.
Climate change refers to major changes in temperature, rainfall, snow, or wind patterns lasting for decades or longer. Both human-made and natural factors contribute to climate change. It is a known fact that we cannot manage the natural factors (earth’s orbit and suns intensity) that contribute to climate change. However, human- made activities such as developing land for cities, burning fossil fuels and using appliances that emit carbon can be either reduced or either managed in an environmentally friendly manner.
Did you know that some home electric appliances emit emissions? This statement may come to many as a shock, but the answer is yes, some of your home electric appliances emit carbon, which is an ingredient in enhancing climate change.
The table shows the most commonly used electric appliances in Zambia and the Carbon that they emit.
For a minute, stop and think how many times you use some of these appliances and imagine how many grams of emissions you generate.
With this, I wish to encourage every citizen of Zambia and the globe at large to think of mother earth when using electric appliances that have so much given us comfort.
As you ‘switch and save power’ also reduce the number of hours these appliances are used in the homes and offices so as to reduce on the amount of carbon being emitted.
We are all accountable to mother earth and the future generation is depending on us. It all starts with me.
The author is an economist and researcher in the Ministry of Energy.