Zimbabwe and Zambia’s power utilities have “overused” their water allocation for power generation at Kariba over recent years.

Zambezi River Authority data shows that the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority and the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) overused water allocations.

In 2022, ZESCO exceeded its share by 0.42%, within allowed margins, while Zimbabwe Power Company exceeded by 11.12%, drawing penalties.

Water levels at Kariba as at January 11 2023 were 475.78m (just 0.28m above the Minimum Operating Level).

What this means is that Zimbabwe and Zambia will have to remain limited to producing 250MW each until the end of January, and then increase to 400MW as water flows rise in February and March.

The two countries share Kariba Dam for power generation and have been facing electricity shortages, with Zimbabwe being the hardest hit.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema recently partly attributed the power challenges to poor engagement between the two countries.

He promised to discuss the issue with his Zimbabwean counterpart, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.

Hichilema said a solution to the power challenges between the two countries should be found sooner than later.