NKOMBO KACHEMBA, Kitwe
MINISTER of Energy and Water Development Dora Siliya says water levels in the Kariba Dam are still low at 12 percent despite the heavy rains that the country is experiencing.
And Ms Siliya says Government has started repossessing licences from investors that are not utilising them to invest in power generation projects.
The minister explained that the water levels in the Kariba Dam are still low and that it would take another three years for the reservoir for power generation to be filled.
â€œPeople have been calling me asking whether the Kariba Dam is full following the heavy rains that the country is experiencing. Last week we visited the dam and the water levels are still at 12 percent,â€ she said.
Last month, the Zambezi River Authority said in a statement that the dam rose to 12 percent of capacity, having dropped to 11 percent on January 27.
Ms Siliya was speaking in Kitwe yesterday during the official opening of a workshop on energy efficiency organised by the Ministry of Energy and Water Development, in partnership with Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), a Swiss-based company specialised in power and automation technologies.
She also said Government has started repossessing power generation licenses from investors that are not utilising them to invest in power generation projects.
Ms Siliya said most investors that obtained licences for power generation have not invested in the energy sector.
â€œThrough the Energy Regulation Board, we have started recalling all those licences that are inactive. We want serious investors in the energy sector because the power demand in the country is increasing,â€ she said.
Ms Siliya also urged Zambians to partner with foreign investors in hydro-power generation projects.
She said Government will next week launch the Karpowership from Turkey, which will increase power supply to Zambia by 200 megawatts (MW).
Ms Siliya also said Government has finalised the procurement procedures for inland generations, which will further cushion the power deficit in the country.
She also said there is need to invest in power generation projects, especially in the northern region, where there is plenty of rainfall.
Ms Siliya also said time has come for Zambia to switch from using hydropower energy to solar energy in view of the water shortage.
She said Zambians must also adopt a trend of using solar power during the day and switch to hydro power during the night.
NKOMBO KACHEMBA, Kitwe