By OLIVER SAMBOKO
WATER levels at Kariba dam in Siavonga have dropped by one 1 percent, casting a gloomy future for the continuation of power production at the country biggest hydroelectricity power station.
The Kariba Dam is designed to operate between levels 475.50m and 488.50m with 0.70m freeboard for hydropower generation.
According to latest data obtained by the Daily Nation from the Zambezi River Authority, the Lake level continued receding by 6cm during the week, before closing at 477.83m, translated to 16 percent of usable storage as at yesterday afternoon.
Last year on the same date, the Lake level at the dam was at 484.91m. The drop in water levels at the continent’s largest manmade lake has continued threatening the hydro-electricity power generation at both Kariba North and South Bank power stations.
This has resulted in unprecedented power outages in Zambia and neighbouring Zimbabwe.
As a result of the low level of water, ZRA has reduced water allocation to both Kariba North and South bank power stations. According to Zesco, the power utility company is seeking to start importing electricity from Eskom at a monthly cost $21 million in order to mitigate the shortage power but was still waiting for a green light from the ministry of Energy.
The country is also looking at other sources of energy like solar and nuclear.