Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Lights OUT Zambia


Wake up Monday morning no electricity, “One of those days it happens.”
Wake up Tuesday morning no electricity, “Again someone must have mistaken which hood to loadshed.”
Wake up Wednesday morning no electricity, “Okay, now this is becoming a habit, ZESCO should get their act together.”
Wake up Thursday morning no electricity, “ZESCO what the hell is going on kanshi?”
Wake up Friday morning no electricity, “ZESCO $%^$$#^**&^%$%$$$##%%^*Fyola*!”
                                             
            The erratic electricity supply this past week has definitely contributed to the increased stress levels around. Once again ZESCO know how to get into the spotlight without trying. I stay in a neighbourhood that does not experience too much load shedding. It is one of those once in a while affairs. So you can imagine the great inconvenience when suddenly, I flick on the switch and it does not turn on. I go into another room flick the switch still the bulb refuses to light up, and then I know ZESCO must be up to no good. We probably all know that load shedding has now become a mainstay in this country but last week ZESCO had graduated to higher proportions.
            I was forced to have bread and juice for supper, clothes could not be pressed in the morning and I had a constant fear that my electrical appliances would blow as a result of this. A mbaula and some malasha might soon become my best friends because I foresee this becoming an unwelcome habit for ZESCO. People have been fuming at what they call inconsiderate load shedding wondering what crime they have committed to deserve such treatment.
            “Dear ZESCO, how you do not care that you send me to work with unpressed clothing is amazing. I could swear you do it on purpose,” Kapembwa lamented.
There are many others who do not have kind words for ZESCO after their food went bad in the fridge, they missed the football games, parties were forced to use candle light and shops like Woodlands Pick n Pay had to close as a result.  And then someone is dreaming of bringing an electric underground train in Zambia, with which electricity, that’s a joke.
            I now reckon that ZESCO have a default apology statement stashed away somewhere that they pullout when the complaints reach boiling point. We are ever maintaining something or a station has blown up. This time around was no different.
            “ZESCO Limited wishes to inform its esteemed customers that the current increased power outages being experienced around the country has been as a result of failure of the  large generating units at Kafue Gorge Power Station (KGPS) on 21st February 2013 and Kariba North Bank Power Station (KNBPS) on 25th February 2013....” a press statement said. Yeah, yeah, yeah, heard this story before.
            The mere fact that ZESCO almost has monopoly of the supply in this country, we are simply forced to suck it up and tolerate whatever, they dish out to us. It is not like we can switch suppliers we do not have that luxury. We just accept it, live with it and complain about it to whatever and whoever is interested in hearing. I can only imagine people who live outside the cities, what kind of electricity supply they get? If in the capital city where the rich, ambassadors, politicians, diplomats are subjected to the kind of supply that ZESCO provides, what influence can a person in a hut somewhere in Shangombo have.
                The more bizarre thing is that clearly ZESCO should have seen this coming. They should have been investing in hydro power stations or other alternatives like solar well in advance. The more puzzling thing is that Zambia has over 30% of the water bodies in Southern Africa, so water for hydro power is not a problem. So who should we begin pointing fingers at? I do not need a crystal ball, to know that in the next 10 years we will need more electricity supply in Lusaka, Kitwe, Solwezi and perhaps all the other towns, so we can start now.
            But hey I am no engineer, so I do not know much about the intricacies that go with supplying electricity to an entire nation. One thing that I do know for certain is that there are thousands of disgruntled people who do not hold ZESCO in high esteem. In other news, place your orders now for generators and solar panels, you will be needing them more in your households very soon because we all know ZESCO will disappoint us again.

9 comments:

  1. It's time I founded a Small little Town where things happen differently.. I think the system will never be fixed, its like re-writing through a messed up sheet of paper.. It would only be right to pull out a fresh one and underline a new heading ;)

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  2. Anonymous please go ahead and come up with that Small Little town, so we can move there quickly. I do not know about the use of NEVER, something can be done if appropriate priorities are in place

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  4. If someone were to become a manufacturer of affordable solar panels, they would make a fortune!

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    1. You are so right Muuka. It wud be big business

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  5. I'm so fed up with these parasites! We had no power last weekend for 10 hours. Every time I tried to call their lines (322,363636), they would cut the line upon answering! If this happened in another country, the top brass would have been fired!! Only in Zambia ....

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    1. Parasites.lol. I fee your frustrations indeed. It is like they are doing us a favour which should not be a case. Our customer service is terrible

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  6. This isn't in Zambia alone but most African countries. In West Africa each house has it's own generator because of these problems. I went to Ghana in 1994 and i found that they had big tanks outside each house i visited. Seriously, i was surprised because by then we didn't have water shortages. It is now that on reflection, our friends can and have been having this problem for yaers. Every west african country i have been to, it is the same problem. Actually, they use Gas more than electricity. When i was Zambia, I bought myself a Gas cooker. So, please do and just get Gas from the Gas company. It is more cheaper.

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    1. Hi Chimfcc, I know that West Africa are also notorious with load shedding. Personally, I have a phobia with Gas stoves. I always think that, what would happen if someone left the gas on for a long time and the entire kitchen gets filled gas then I light a matchstick. BOOM! I dont know if that is possible. Overall, I think it is something that we need to look into as a country

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