Zesco has agreed to start supplying power the district of Zumbo, in the western Mozambican province of Tete.
Zesco and Mozambican authorities have reached an agreement for Zesco to supply power from a substation in Nyimba district.
To that end, work is under way to erect 42 electricity pylons along 15 kilometres on the Mozambican side, between Zumbo town and the Luanga substation in Zambia.
Zumbo district Permanent Secretary Tito Magaco told AIM that work on the pylons is under way “despite some difficulties, mainly because the materials must be imported from South Africa to Maputo, then transported to Tete city before taking them along the Cahora Bassa lake by boat to reach Zumbo”.
Magaco, who did not reveal the amounts involved in this undertaking, promised that the power link will be activated by November this year.
Zumbo district, 520 kilometres from Tete city, has 57,300 inhabitants, according to the 2007 population census. Just 83 houses currently have electricity connections and are supplied by a diesel-fired generator.
Magaco said that with the completion of a rural electrification project, for which the company Siemens has been contracted, more than 400 consumers will be connected, and will be able to undertake income generation activities, which would be impossible without electricity.
The Mozambican and Zambian authorities are still discussing the modalities of power supply to Zumbo, because on the Zambian side there is an interruption between 12:00 and 15:00 every day. The discussions are to identify the ideal model for Mozambique.
Zumbo district administrator Fernando de Sousa said that the important thing is not a few hours of interruption to supply but that the electricity should reach the district, because it will mitigate the suffering caused by the shortage of fuel to feed the generator. Currently diesel is in such short supply that the generator can only supply the few consumers for fours hours a day, between 18:00 and 22:00.
The generator uses 10 litres of fuel an hour, which means that to supply the town for 24 hours would need 240 litres a day, which would be extremely costly, quite apart from the logistical difficulties involved in transporting the fuel to Zumbo.