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Zimbabweans turn to solar power to cope with power cuts

Zimbabwe and Zambia are bracing themselves for worsening power shortages, as the level of Lake Kariba continues to drop.

Picture: Pexels

HARARE - Zimbabwe and Zambia are bracing themselves for worsening power shortages, as the level of Lake Kariba continues to drop.

Some households and companies in urban Zimbabwe are turning to solar power as the levels at the main hydropower station show no immediate sign of improving.

At the last reading, the water level at the Kariba Hydropower station was at 476.8 metres, just 1.3 metres above the minimum level required for power generation.

Both Zambia and Zimbabwe have implemented severe load-shedding to ease pressure on the dam.

In response to the crisis, a number of households in Harare and other cities are visibly turning to solar power, even on a very small scale to beat power cuts that last for 18 hours a day.

Hardware stores are full of solar power components and downtown stores sell small portable panels capable of powering cellphones, lights and TVs.

In July, the government said it would remove duty on solar-energy-related products, though prices for installing solar remain high.