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Zambia Braces for Electricity Deficit Amid Drought Crisis

The Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) has issued a warning regarding the country’s electricity deficit, which is expected to reach up to 520 megawatts by December 2024 due to the ongoing drought.

The drought, declared a national disaster by President Hakainde Hichilema on 29th February 2024, has severely affected multiple sectors, including agriculture, water availability, and energy supply. 

According to ZICA President Yande Mwenye, the prolonged dry spell has devastated 84 districts across several provinces, jeopardizing the food security of millions of Zambians.

Speaking during a media briefing attended by Zambian Business Times (ZBT), Mwenye praised President Hichilema’s prompt response to the crisis and his efforts to mitigate its adverse effects on the population. 

However, she emphasized the urgent need for both short and long-term measures to address the challenges posed by the drought.

Among the proposed measures are the supply of food, importation of electricity, and rationing energy use. Mwenye also stressed the importance of mobilizing farmers for early maturing and winter maize planting through various forms of irrigation and enhancing water harvesting mechanisms to stimulate agricultural production.

Furthermore, ZICA urged the Zambian government to expedite the enactment of the Climate and Sustainability Bill into law to effectively address climate change challenges.

The organization emphasized the importance of compliance across all sectors to enable Zambia to fully benefit from trading in carbon credits and other climate finance opportunities.

In addition to domestic efforts, Zambia has signed a green growth compact worth £1 billion with the UK Government to facilitate foreign direct investment in renewable energy, urban planning, and trade connectivity. ZICA commended this initiative and pledged support to the government in promoting investment opportunities through its member network.

Amid the crisis, ZICA underscored the potential of agriculture to drive economic growth and food security in Zambia. The organization urged concerted efforts to transform agriculture into a thriving business sector, empowering citizens to secure their futures and contribute to the country’s development.

Source: Zambia Business Times

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