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Zimbabweans adapt to power cuts

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Following the power cut crisis faced by Zimbabwe where electricity is only available between 10pm and 6am, people have adjusted their daily routines to make the most out of the electricity when it is available.

In suburbs such as Borrowdale situated in the capital Harare, domestic workers do some of their household tasks at night since inverters and generators do not provide enough power to sustain a whole household.

Stella Kawema and her husband, Charles are employed by a former minister and the two say their boss instructed them to do chores such as ironing and gardening at night because that is when power is available.

“I iron clothes around 11pm and that’s the same time I get to use the washing machine,” Stella said.

While Charles also mows the lawn and cleans the pool at night. 

“Even when we do our jobs at night, the family we work for will be awake because they too need electricity. The boss the other day was complaining that the Wi-Fi network in the area was pathetic during power cuts,” said Charles.

Other businesses such as KFC, butcheries, grinding mill operators, welders and salons have timetables for using their generators.

“We only work during peak hours. That is between noon and 3pm. We open again between 5pm and 8pm. We cannot afford to run the generator the whole day,” said a security guard working on KFC premises.

Minister of Energy Fortune Chasi said it was time for Zimbabwe to start investing in solar energy because the power crisis was a long-term problem.

“We import most of these things [solar equipment] but since we need them the government has to come up with a model of incentivising investors into renewable energy.”

While Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said Zimbabwe has not been closely looking at alternative energy sources policies.

“We have been too slow in embracing renewable energy sources. We have so much sunshine, why can’t we have solar farms?” said Ncube. 

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