Zambia electricity rationing and importation may take effect as the country confronts a severe drought. President Hakainde Hichilema said on Thursday that because there’s not enough water, they can’t produce as much electricity from hydropower, which is how Zambia usually gets its energy.


Zambia is experiencing one of its most severe droughts in recent history, which has led to a substantial decrease in water levels in reservoirs essential for hydropower generation. This drought is not just affecting the energy sector; it also poses significant challenges to food production and mining, both crucial components of Zambia’s economy.

The President has emphasized the gravity of the situation, noting that the energy sector could face a deficit of up to 500 megawatts this year.


Government Response

In response to these challenges, President Hakainde Hichilema has outlined a comprehensive plan to address the immediate needs of the energy sector and to support affected industries and households. The plan includes:

  1. Electricity Rationing: Implementing a structured electricity rationing schedule to manage the reduced power generation capacity effectively.
  2. Importation of Electricity: Securing additional electricity through imports from neighboring countries to supplement the domestic supply and alleviate the shortfall.
  3. Budget Adjustments: Revising the 2024 national budget to allocate increased funding towards mitigating the effects of the drought and supporting over a million farming households that have been adversely affected. Approximately 1 million hectares of crops have been lost out of 2.2 million hectares planted, highlighting the scale of the crisis.


Impact and Future Outlook

The declaration of the drought as a national disaster shows the severity of the situation and the urgent need for both local and international support. The government’s proactive measures aim to ensure that industries and households continue to have access to electricity, which is crucial for maintaining economic stability and public welfare.

While the importation of electricity and rationing are seen as necessary short-term solutions, Zambia faces a critical juncture in addressing its vulnerability to droughts and its reliance on hydropower. Exploring alternative sources of energy and enhancing the resilience of the energy sector against climate-related challenges will be essential for the country’s sustainable development.

Zambia electricity rationing and importation are crucial steps in navigating through this difficult period. Despite the challenges, with strategic planning and support, Zambia is determined to overcome these adversities and maintain its resilience.

Image Source: Zambia 24