Concern grows over crucial Zimbabwean hydropower plant

A persistent drought is threatening Zimbabwe’s main hydroelectric power facility, with fears growing that the plant may fail to generate power entirely in six months if there is no respite in weather conditions.
Kariba dam
Zimbabwe and neighbouring Zambia both rely heavily on the Kariba dam for electricity, and falling dam levels at the plant raises the threat of deeper power cuts in the two countries which are already faced with frequent power shortages.

Dam levels are currently at 12 per cent of capacity, a level last recorded in 1992 during a severe drought.

Kenneth Maswera, Kariba Power Station’s general manager told press this week, “We’ve not received any significant inflows, basically the level is going to continue going down if we don’t get any flows into the lake.”

Supplies from Kariba, which has an installed generating capacity of 750 MW were at 285 MW now, he added.

The country is coping with its current difficulty through importing 340 MW of electricity from neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique, easing power cuts.

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