The power failure that has crippled half of Zambia has entered its fourth day, piling more misery on farmers, especially poultry farmers.
“Our engineers who have mobilised immediately to restore supply have revealed that the damage to the transmission line is quite extensive. However, they are working round the clock to ensure that supply to the affected areas is restored as soon as possible,” said Ms. Bessie Banda, Senior Manager Marketing and Public Relations in a statement issued in Lusaka today.
The Eastern, Northern, Luapula, Muchinga and parts of Central provinces were thrown into darkness four days ago when lightning damaged a 330 kilovolt cable in the Central Province’s Kabwe town, about 68 kilometres north of the capital Lusaka.
Ms. Banda apologised to the power utility’s customers and the general public: “ZESCO deeply regrets the inconvenience caused by the outage that occurred on the Kabwe-Pensulo 330kV transmission line.”
However, the apology is unlikely to tame the anger of farmers who are reeling from colossal losses as a result of the power blackout. Several of the affected farmers took to Facebook and Twitter to express their anger, urging the affected farmers to take the power utility company to task.
“Sue ZESCO. They are letting us down and want to make Zambia poorer,” Musonda Kafuwe posted. “I would sue ZESCO if I were in your place,” Davies Navies joined the chorus.
Humphrey Milanzi who lost 800 guinea fowl eggs is one of the farmers in the northern part of Zambia affected by the blackout. Another farm in the same area also told africanfarming that he had lost 600 free range chicekn eggs – poultry known as village chickens in the local parlance.