By Caroline Chiimba
Heavy rains and vandalism of electricity infrastructure is contributing to the ongoing power outages, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has said.
This comes after a number of suburbs in the capital have been encountering total blackouts without notice amid fears load shedding was back.
Zesa spokesperson Fullard Gwasira said the authority eliminated load shedding in December 2015 and most power outages that are being experienced are associated with heavy rains and pointedly lightning strikes, trees falling on overhead transmission lines as well as water seeping into underground cable joints.
“The collapse of the Parkridge-Highfield 132Kv bulk transmission towers affected Houghton Park, Southerton and parts of Waterfalls in the evening peak alternatively,” Gwasira said.
“Unplanned power outages in Chitungwiza and surrounding areas are being caused by the rains-induced fault at the Seke Sub-station.”
The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) last month warned that the 2018-19 rainfall season is pointing towards an El Nino phenomenon which is associated with above average warming of the sea surface temperatures of the Pacific Ocean. In most years it comes with reduced rainfall activity over the sub region.
According to weather specialists, this season may be marked by violent storms, prolonged dry spells, flash floods and tropical cyclones.
Gwasira said the power utility has also been adversely affected by the scourge of theft and vandalism where transformers are being targeted, with oil getting drained, resulting in some consumers going without power for prolonged periods of time.
The authority said due to the architecture of our electricity networks, it would be difficult for ordinary consumers to distinguish between planned and unplanned by outages.
“We urge community participation by reporting any known perpetrators in confidence to the power utility and the police to curb such wanton destruction to the electricity infrastructure,” Gwasira said.
“In proven cases, rewards are offered to genuine cases that would lead to the apprehension of such criminals.” DailyNews