Zesco blames national blackout on Zim bush fires

 Zesco blames national blackout on Zim bush fires

2 September 2009

published by www.lusakatimes.com

Zambia — ZESCO says it has put in place security measures to ensure the countrywide black out that plunged the country last year due to bush fires from the Zimbabwean side of the inter connector does not occur again.

Acting Managing Director, Cyprian Chitundu who disclosed this in Mazabuka when he addressed Commercial farmers and other business persons at Mazabuka’s Tennis club, yesterday, said the problem of bush fires requires urgent solutions because of the implications.

” Bush fires cause tripping which disturbs the system and to avoid this we have engaged our (Zimbabwe) colleagues in discussions to ensure the power lines on their side are cleared to avoid another problem,” said Chitundu.

Mr Chitundu said the measures put in place involve high level discussions with the Zimbabwean Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) to ensure bush around the power lines from Kariba in Zambia at the border with that country to Harare is cleared.

He told the meeting, last year Zambia, was plunged into total darkness because of bush fires from the Zimbabwean side that affected the interconnection and disturbed the ZESCO power system that resulted in transformers tripping down.

Mr Chitundu said failure by the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority to clear bush from the power lines, would force ZESCO to open the inter connector to protect the Zambian power system.

” ZESCO would be forced to open the inter connector for fear of plunging the country into total darkness that is if our counterparts from Zimbabwe do not remove the grass around power lines,” said Chitundu.

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