By Mbekezeli Ncube
WATER levels at Lake Kariba remain below expected volumes needed to generate power despite the rains the country has been receiving recently, Energy Minister Fortune Chasi has revealed.
In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com, the minister said even though he was glad that some parts of the country had received rains, it was still not enough for Lake Kariba to generate electricity for the country.
“We have received some rains in the country, but for the purposes of power generation, the rains are still insufficient.
“Even if we were to receive significant amount of rain, the water levels of Kariba would not rise any further and sufficient enough to make a good impact in power generation,” Chasi told our reporter.
The Zanu PF MP for Mazowe South in Mashonaland Central province said the current water holding level at the lake was at 7.69%.
“Kariba dam is designed to operate at a maximum holding level of 485 meters and a minimum level of 475 meters which is the minimum water level for purposes of water generation, known as live water. Below 475 meters, the water in the Kariba dam may only be used for recreation and fishing.”
Early last year, the government introduced load-shedding due to decreasing water levels in Lake Kariba and break-down at the Hwange Power Stations. This has resulted in most parts of the country going for almost 20 hours without electricity daily.
“We would expect that such rains would kick in maybe from April onwards. We are very prayerful that we will get some rains that will help us meet current challenges,” he added.
Zimbabwe is currently importing electricity mainly from the neighbouring South Africa’s ESKOM.