Curbing Power Outages!

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Published: 27 December 2010

by Duke Muchindu

Zambia, a land locked country, is endowed with one of the largest number of fresh water bodies in the world. This makes it an ideal environment for hydro-electric power generation. Zambia only has one major hydro power station at Kariba Dam. Kariba, a hydroelectric dam, is in the Kariba Gorge of the Zambezi river basin between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is one of the largest dams in the world, standing 128 meters tall and 579 meters long. Zambia’s hydro power station at the Kariba dam produces 720 MW of power with four machines. Works are under way by the Zambian government to increase the power generation capacity to 1, 080 MW by the year 2012.

Meanwhile direct foreign investment in the mining sector has increased over the year leading to increased mining activities. Inevitably, this has led to increased power demands while power generation has remained the same. In order to be able to meet the increased demand, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) introduced a system of load shedding for some number of hours on certain days for all its customers except the mines. The mining sector is given priority because it is considered the chief economy driver of Zambia.

Unfavorable weather conditions also aggravate the power blackouts and Northrise University is as affected as everyone else. In order to continue providing quality education, Northrise has invested in curbing the effects of load shedding. In the month of November 2010 a Cummings ordered Generator was delivered to the main campus. The concrete slab to sit the generator has been built and shelter construction for the generator is under way. The generator has a capacity of 38 KVA and will supply Northrise Farms and Kuhula House with electricity in cases of black out. In the first or second week of January 2011, the generator is expected to be installed and ready for use.

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