Mazabuka, Wednesday, 25th. November, 2020 – Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Minister, Jonas Chanda says companies abstracting huge volumes of water from rivers, such as Zambia Sugar company, must invest in water efficient and climate smart technologies.
Dr. Chanda says this is in view of climate change which has caused falling water levels in rivers, lakes and dams.
The Minister said this when he toured Zambia Sugar Company Water Intake Point on the Kafue river in Mazabuka District.
Zambia Sugar Company supplies raw water to Southern Water Supply and Sanitation Company in the district.
Dr. Chanda says he is concerned that Zambia Sugar company is still using the old method like canals and River – like Dams, since 1967, of diverting huge amounts of water from the Kafue river to irrigate their sugarcane plantations despite the effects of Climate Change.
Dr. Chanda says the use of canals to divert huge volumes of water from the Kafue River is not ideal in the wake of Climate Change.
He has advised the firm to adopt climate Smart methods of irrigating sugar cane plantations such as overhead drip irrigation.
Dr. Chanda also cites the dwindling water levels on the Zambezi river for the past ten years as another result of Climate Change effects, adversely affecting the Fixed Water Intake belonging to Southern Water Supply and Sanitation Company.
The water abstraction point is now unable to abstract sufficient water, resulting in water shortages in Livingstone city.
He says if unsustainable methods of Water abstraction are not controlled on the Kafue River, the situation might lead to what is now obtaining on the Zambezi River, which also negatively affects water levels on the Victoria Falls, the Lake Kariba, and Hydroelectricity generation at Kariba Dam, resulting in severe loadshedding.
The Minister says it is important for Zambia Sugar Company to take into consideration other key economic activities downstream on the Kafue river such as the multi-million dollar Kafue Upper and Kafue Lower Gorge Hydroelectricity Power Generation Stations which will be put in jeopardy.
He says if less water is used efficiently by the sugar growing company, more water can be channeled downstream for hydro power generation, which will increase Hydroelectricity generation and end load shedding.
And Dr. Chanda says he has engaged the Minister of Agriculture, Michael Katambo and Minister of Energy Matthew Nkhuwa on the matter.
He says a team of technocrats from the three ministries, together with the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) will be going to the area to assess the situation and make key recommendations.
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Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection