President Emmerson Mnangagwa has inadvertently warned Zimbabweans to brace for more power following revelations that Kariba Hydro Power Station, where the country gets most of its electricity supplies, was generating only 90MW from an installed capacity of 1 050MW.
Mnangagwa told a crowd during this month’s National Clean-up Campaign in Kuwadzana, Harare, that the current drought conditions will worsen poverty and power cuts. He said:
Consider the drought spell, there are no rains. As you can see, we are staring at poverty. We need electricity in our homes and industries.
I am sure you have heard that Lake Kariba, which was giving us 1 000 MW before is now only managing between 100 and 90MW because of the extremely low water levels.
Last month, the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), advised that Kariba Dam, the country’s source of hydro-power, is left with only 1,23 metres or 8,50% of water usable for power generation, a situation that may result in the closure of the power station until there are significant inflows.
The Zambezi River receives only 20 per cent of its waters from Zimbabwe (Sanyati and Gwaai rivers), while 80 per cent of the water flows from Angola, DRC and Zambia, among other catchments in the north of the flood plains.