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Residents of Zambia’s capital to experience water rationing

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Residents of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital, will face water rationing due to daily rotating power cuts caused by low water levels, a company that manages the city’s water system said on Monday.

The Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC) said the water rationing schedule, which begins this week, is meant to manage water demand due to the effects of drought and power outages.

Jilly Chiyombwe, the company’s managing director, said the dependence on electrically powered systems for both surface and underground water has rendered the company vulnerable to disruptions in power supply.

He told journalists during a press briefing that the ongoing electricity supply constraint on the water distribution facilities and declining underground water levels due to the drought have affected the company’s ability to produce and sustain a consistent water supply.

He said the company was losing about eight hours of production per day due to the electricity challenges, resulting in reduced water supply hours from 18 to 10 per day.

“In the face of adversity, we are charting a course toward sustainable water supply. Drawing from experiences, the LWSC has unveiled a comprehensive strategy to tackle the dual challenges of electricity supply constraints and drought concerns,” he said.

He, however, said the company is cooperating with the power utility to exempt critical water installations from power cuts.

Zambia is currently facing a power deficit due to reduced water levels in hydropower plants following the drought experienced in the southern African region.

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