What could be more tragic than a pregnant woman’s death while undergoing an emergency caesarian section after a power failure during the operation at Loloma Mission hospital, in North-Western Province. The effects of Zesco’s power outages have been worsening and this has crippled small businesses, low capacity power utilisation in manufacturing industries and the insecurity of patients’ lives as evidenced at Loloma Mission hospital. Even in developed countries emergency power supply equipment is installed as a back up to the normal grid power because power failures are accidental and therefore occur unexpectedly! Now in our case where the power outages of Zesco have become acceptable and normal, it is obviously suicidal not to have these facilities installed. I thought it was mandatory for all clinics or hospitals to have standby generators. The loss of life under the prevailing circumstances at Loloma Mission hospital is very sad. But should we not ask ourselves why the Energy Regulation Board opted to have solar instead of Zesco power installed at their newly built headquarters near Mass Media Complex in the first place; and why, over two years of the Patriotic Front administration, Zesco has still not been able to significantly improve the power situation? Could blame be entirely heaped on the previous MMD regime’s lack of foresight? There are possibly hundreds of other such questions to ask. While many hold Zesco responsible for the pregnant woman’s death at the hospital, the hospital administration is equally culpable because it appears it did not install a standby generator set for emergencies.
MUBANGA LUCHEMBE, LUSAKA.