Zesco has increased the ongoing countrywide load-shedding due to its failure to generate sufficient power for all its consumers.

In a statement, Wednesday, Zesco announced that the “emergency” situation had been necessitated by a fault at Maamba Collieries Power Station.

“Zesco Limited wishes to inform its esteemed customers and the general public that there will be increased load shedding countrywide from 20th August until further notice to due limitation of power generation,” read the statement, without stating the number of hours by which load-shedding would be extended.

“This emergency situation has been necessitated by the taking out-of-service of Unit 1 at Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL) Power Station which developed a fault on 19th August 2019 at 23:45 hours. During the period of the shutdown, the purchase of power from MCL will reduce by 50 per cent from 267MW to 133MW which will result in additional deficit of power.”

The Zesco PR office added that the measure was meant to prevent damage to generators at Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank Power Stations.

“To mitigate the shortfall during the shutdown period, extended load management will be implemented in order to prevent over generation beyond the recommended levels at Kafue Gorge and Kariba North Bank Power Stations. Zesco deeply regrets the inconvenience this will cause to our esteemed customers,” read the statement.

By press time, Zesco spokesperson Henry Kapata was unavailable to clarify the statement.

But sources within Zesco told News Diggers! that load-shedding may be increased from the current four hours to between six and 10 hours depending on the location.

On Tuesday, most of the residential areas in Lusaka experienced about 10 hours of load-shedding, thereby causing an outcry among consumers who took to social media to register their displeasure with the power utility.