Poultry farmers in parts of Zambia are reeling from colossal losses following a more than 48-hour power outage that has affected more than five provinces.
“I lost more than 800 eggs for guinea fowls, it is 48 hours, and there is still no sign of power,” lamented Humphrey Milanzi, one of the scores of poultry farmers in the northern part of Zambia affected by the power outage.
Another poultry farmer in the Northern Province interviewed by telephone claimed to have lost 600 eggs of free range chickens, popularly known as village chickens in Zambia.
The power utility, ZESCO yesterday informed the public that the company was still trying to repair the damage on the 330 kilovolt cable in Kabwe, about 68 kilometres from the capital Lusaka. “Our engineers are currently working on the problem, which is expected to be resolved today (yesterday),” said Henry Kapata, spokesperson for the power utility company.
The damage attributed to lighting left five provinces in darkness for more than 48 hours, and added more woes to poultry farmers who also have to contend with scheduled regular load-shedding for hours on a daily basis.
The latest development has galvanised the industry to secure alternative sources of power to mitigate the losses in the industry. Chileshe Chisanga, also a poultry farmer advised fellow farmers: “You just need another energy source like solar or genset to survive.”
Legal experts dampened the possibility of holding ZESCO liable for the losses noting that the power outage was an Act of God. Furthermore, they observed that a lawsuit will have little chance of success as farmers do not have contracts with ZESCO specifying that the company will provide power come what may.