ZESA Holdings, state power utility has spared wheat farmers and key players in productive sectors such as coal miners from power cuts to avoid crippling critical sectors of the economy.
Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) managing director Robson Chikuri said that winter wheat farmers and coal miners will be spared of the blackouts. Chikuri said:
There are some wheat farmers who are irrigating 24/7; we have assigned our directors to identify those farmers, who irrigate more than 100 hectares, so that they are accommodated for purposes of not hindering wheat production.
Zimbabwe imports most of its wheat making it difficult for bakers considering the scarcity of foreign currency.
The managing director also revealed that coal miners, who include Hwange Colliery Company and Makomo Resources will not be cut off the grid to maintain supplies of coal used in the generation of electricity.
ZESA has recently announced the most acute load shedding schedules since 2016. The power utility cites the dwindling water levels at Kariba dam as the push factor behind the decision. The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) which regulates the use of water in the Zambezi River on behalf of Zambia and Zimbabwe warned that generators might be shut down by September if the trend continues.
Meanwhile, ZRA is negotiating a power deal with Hydro Cahora Basa, Mozambique’s state power utility. Mozambique has already requested ZRA to reduce the amount of water they release from the Kariba Dam to avoid dam overflow.
More: The Sunday Mail