After the organization in charge of managing southern Africa’s largest dam ordered the halt of electricity production at its major hydro plant due to a water deficit, Zimbabwe’s ongoing power crisis is certain to get worse.
The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), in a letter dated Nov. 25, informed the Zimbabwe Power Company that the Kariba South hydropower facility had consumed more water than it was allotted for in 2022 and that the Kariba Dam’s useable storage was just 4.6% full.
“Generation activities at the South Bank Power Station are strongly directed to be discontinued going forward until January 2023, when a further evaluation of the substantive hydrological outlook at Kariba will be done,” the letter stated.
Zimbabwe has suffered acute power shortages for several years, as successive droughts have resulted in poor inflows into the Kariba Dam and as ageing coal-fired power stations have repeatedly broken down.
Kariba South has an installed capacity of 1,050 megawatts but has been producing well below that due to low water levels in the dam.