Zambia could have been plunged into total darkness had the government delayed to start the importation of electricity from South Africa, a senior government official said here on Tuesday.

Matthew Nkhuwa, who is Minister of Energy, said the importation of power was actualized at a time Zambia was almost plunging into total blackout.

Zambia has paid 20.5 million U.S. dollars to South Africa power utility firm Eskom for a one-month power import. And 6.5 million U.S. dollars were also paid towards the arrears for the power supplied to Zambia in 2015.

In an interview with Xinhua, Nkhuwa said when Zambian power utility Zesco had started importing power from Eskom on November 22, the water levels in Kariba Dam had dwindled to almost plunging the country into extra hours of load shedding.

According to Nkhuwa, after the power was imported, the situation was saved from worsening.

“Due to excessive heat, we were losing one centimeter every day in the Dam. And losing one centimeter per day in hydro production is a serious challenge for continuous power supply,” he said. Enditem


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