A senior Zambian government official said on Tuesday that the government was exploring various options aimed at mitigating the energy crisis the country was facing.

Mathew Nkhuwa, Minister of Energy said the current electricity deficit caused by low water levels in its reservoirs for hydropower was an indication that the country needed to explore and tap into other potential energy options.

The government, he said, intends to talk with authorities from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to start tapping water from one of its rivers using canals into Zambia’s hydro power plants, which was expected to cushion the power shortages by increasing generation capacity to about 400 megawatts.

“We know that the demand for power has continued to increase and we are not sitting back, but we have come up with an immediate measure which is to tap water from the Congo River which is much cheaper than setting up new hydro power plants,” he is quoted as saying by state-run news agency, the Zambia News and Information Service (ZANIS).

Tapping water from the Congo River is the immediate solution to the energy challenges, he added.

In May, the country’s power utility started implementing a power rationing program following reduced water levels in the country’s hydropower reservoirs caused by poor rains.

On Monday, the Zambezi River Authority, which manages the Kariba Dam, where one of the biggest power plants is located, said water levels have fallen drastically and getting close to record low reached in 1995 when the country had one of its worst droughts. Enditem

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