Drought saps energy production in Zimbabwe

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Copyright: Crispin Hughes / Panos

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In semi-arid parts of Zimbabwe, the availability of water for domestic use, irrigation and business is not the only issue. During extremely dry spells, a lack of water can also have a knock-on effect on energy production, particularly for industry.
This is because the Zambezi river, one of the world’s largest rivers, is a vital source of energy — with its power harnessed by the Kariba Dam that straddles Zambia and Zimbabwe.
This year, drought has drastically shrunk the level of water behind the dam, cutting the supply of hydroelectric power. As a result, electricity supplies to households in Zimbabwe are being rationed and businesses are going bust.
In this audio report, Sophie Mbugua explores the impacts of drought on the country’s energy system and agricultural industry.