The low water levels at Kariba dam have been a worrying sign every dry season with reduced rainfall in the region, especially with the impact of global warming. As the waters continue to recede, temperatures have risen and weather patterns have changed, as a result, electricity production at the hydroelectric dam has been affected in turn affecting the lives of millions of people, and the government is faced with the challenge of finding alternative sources of energy. Governments worldwide are now taking steps to reduce their carbon emissions and switch over to renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, this is still a work in progress in this part of the world. With all that said, it was time to get on that windy road to scorching hot Siavonga to scrutinize the water situation.
The Kariba Dam is the largest hydroelectric power station in Zambia, providing 80% of the country’s electricity. The dam generates electricity by harnessing the power of flowing water, and the amount of power generated directly correlates with the level of water in the dam. As a result of the decrease in water levels at the dam, Zambia has been experiencing a growing energy crisis with frequent power cuts for the last twenty years which became more and more frequent and can last for several hours at a time or until recently was up to 12 hours daily. The decrease in electricity generation has been compounded by load shedding, which is a measure used by the power company to reduce demand and prevent a total blackout. Loadshedding involves rotating power cuts across different areas of the country. The economic repercussions of these issues have been significant for the country’s businesses and people’s daily lives. The power cuts have now ended not sure for how long this will be.
After walking along the dam wall headed to the scenic Lake Kariba Inns for lunch and a drink with plenty of ice. This charming inn and restaurant is located on the banks of Lake Kariba, with stunning views of the water and the surrounding hills. The restaurant is situated on a hill overlooking the lake, with plenty of outdoor seating that takes full advantage of the views. The menu features a mix of international and Zambian dishes, with plenty of options for vegetarians and meat lovers alike. I opted for the crayfish, which was served with a side of vegetables and chips with a satisfying crunch. Whether you are a local or a visitor to the area, this is a must-visit spot that will leave you feeling relaxed and satisfied.