Power cuts are expected to worsen for Zimbabwe with the Zambezi River Authority revealing that water supplies to Kariba Dam will remain subdued until around March 2016.
The Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF) forecast also paints a gloomy picture as Zambezi River’s sources in Angola and Congo might receive below normal rains this season.
Zimbabwe and Zambia rely on Kariba hydro power station and with the dwindling water supplies to the dam, the Zimbabwe River Authority has been rationing water for power generation.
The authority sadly acknowledged that since 1997, it has been aware that at some point the water levels would dwindle to critical levels that would not sustain power generation.
“Yes there has been a huge reduction on the inflows against the output of water going towards the turbines. We received below normal rains in the upper catchment and we hope that once rainfall season starts, we harvest the water to avert future challenges, said Mr Munyaradzi Munodawafa, the authority’s CEO.
Data recorded last week by the Zambezi River Authority reveal that the water levels dropped to 479.53m which is 5.35m lower than the level recorded last year on the same date.
Meteorological experts, who gathered in the Democratic Republic of Congo this August to forecast the forthcoming 2015-16 rainfall season, predicted that countries such as Angola and the DRC, which are upstream of the Zambezi River, have a 75 percent chance of receiving below normal rains which translate to a drought.
Efforts to get a comment from Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister, Cde Tsitsi Muzenda were fruitless as she referred all questions to the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Patson Mbiriri who said he cannot provide a comment.
With Hwange Thermal Power Station not operating to full capacity, Zimbabweans can only brace up for more power cuts as the country tries to do with the little energy available.