17 June 2012

Zimbabwe: Turn to the Sun for Energy Needs - Nhema

COMMUNITIES should harness solar energy in the face of increased power cuts which are affecting almost all sectors of the economy, a cabinet minister has said.

Addressing delegates at a three-day national climate change adaptation symposium in Harare last week, Minister of Environment and Natural Resource Management, Francis Nhema, said the country was not adequately utilising the abundant sunshine and water bodies found across the country.

"With lots of sunshine and water bodies littered across the country, there is need to harness solar energy to overcome electricity and water challenges facing the country," said Nhema.

Nhema challenged delegates, who were mostly academics and researchers "to think deeply and put a human element in their studies and return to that little river in their communities and harness the water for the benefit of the local people".

Power supply remains erratic in most parts of Harare with the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) failing to stick to a load-shedding schedule it published in the media recently, seriously affecting many business operations.

Despite the long hours of power cuts, residents complain of exorbitant bills at the end of every month. The cost of electricity is affecting thousands of households as they have to buy paraffin and firewood at a higher cost, yet still have to settle their bills.

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