LINDA SOKO TEMBO Writes
THE scheduled power outages that Zesco Limited will soon embark on will be a blessing as it is expected to increase and improve our sales, some charcoal traders at Chilenje’s Chifundo Market have said.
Zesco Limited has announced that it will soon begin rationing power by switching off supply from selected parts of the country for specified periods because of low levels of water at Kariba Dam, the main source of power.
The traders said they had a lot of business during the last wave of load shedding and that the announcement by Zesco Limited to start load shedding would benefit them as it will help them raise money to meet their daily needs.
Buying and selling charcoal is their source of livelihood.
In an interview with the Sun, one of the charcoal traders, Betty Zulu, said load shedding would make many residents in the area and surrounding areas resort to using the commodity as their main source of energy.
Ms Zulu said the demand has not been as much because people have been using electricity.
“I am happy with the news of load shedding because charcoal will be on demand and this will boost my business. I will be able to raise enough funds for school going children,” she said.
Another trader, Mavis Banda, said the announcement of load shedding was good because it would help her business go grow to another level.
Ms Banda said in 2015 when Zambia experienced load shedding she had made good money, which helped her to take her children to school and also solve a number of issues that needed money.
She was hopeful that the demand for charcoal would be high and that she would do everything possible to ensure that she did not run out of the commodity.
“Business is there but a bit slow. We are trying to sell charcoal on a daily basis, but our business will boost when load shedding starts, and we will be able to solve a lot of problems in our homes,” a smiling Ms Banda said.
Zambia received low rainfall in the southern half where the bulk of its electricity is generated.
The country’s power utility has warned that it will have to take measures, including load shedding, that may inconvenience citizens to sustain supply.