By JACK MWEWA –
MONKEYS caused the nationwide blackout on December 30, 2013 from 08:00 to 09:33 hours after disturbing power at Kariba North Bank Power Station in Siavonga District.
Kariba being a construction site, there were loose cables lying around and
the monkeys picked a loose telephone wire left by Chinese constructors and went up with it near the conductors.
It was the telephone wire that caused a short circuit which led to a fault on the network, the monkeys, however, did not die. Zesco has since cleared loose wires and cables off the site.
Zesco managing director Cyprian Chitundu explained the tragedy on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Radio 1’s Kabusha Takolelwe bowa programme last Sunday.
In her response to a query, company principal public relations officer Yammie Zimba said; “The tripping happened at Kariba North Bank Power Station, were we were generating 700MW at the time of the tripping.
Many of customers were affected, however other power stations including Kafue Gorge and Victoria Falls were operational and therefore we did not lose the entire network.
Ms Zimba said in order to avoid similar future occurrences, Zesco has engaged the Zambia Wildlife Association (ZAWA) to control the monkeys, whose population has grown in the area.
“Furthermore, we have embarked on a project to put up an electric fence around the switchyard in order to keep the monkeys away.
We have also put people in strategic places to chase away the monkeys when seen approaching the switchyard,” she said.