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Egenia Chishapira sits close by an open fire lit with a torch light as she uses firewood to prepare an evening meal for her family at her home in Mbare township, Harare. (Jekesai Njikizana/AFP)

Business Sector and Women Hit hard by Energy Crisis in Zimbabwe

August 30, 2019

By Nevson Mpofu*

Egenia Chishapira sits close by an open fire lit with a torch light as she uses firewood to prepare an evening meal for her family at her home in Mbare township, Harare. (Jekesai Njikizana/AFP)

Egenia Chishapira sits close by an open fire lit with a torch light as she uses firewood to prepare an evening meal for her family at her home in Mbare township, Harare. (Jekesai Njikizana/AFP)

Harare—The serious shortage of energy in the country seriously stands core negatively to affect the Business Sector and women. Energy supply has drastically fallen low to an extent that all sustainable operations in Business Sector remain down-sized in daily operations.

Three main reasons for the serious shortage are faulty equipment at Hwange Power Station, lack of enough Finance and low water levels in the Kariba dam. The country has installed capacity of 2000 Meg-Watts. Its demand is at 1500 MW. It generates and produces a total of 1200 Meg-Watts from Kariba [Hydro-Power] Hwange [Thermal] Harare [Thermal] Bulawayo [Thermal] and Munyati Power Station [Thermal]

Main Economic Sectors, An Expert notes will bear the greatest brunt of the pang of pain in terms of energy shortages. This, DR Prosper Chitambara of LEDRIZ, Labour and Economic Development Research in Zimbabwe reveals. Three 3 sectors of the Economy that is Agriculture, Mining and Manufacturing Industry are hard hit. This leads to low Gross-Domestic Product [GDP], gross per capita [GPC] and National Domestic Product [NDP] of the country.

‘’The three main sectors are in heavy fall out of Business as the country continues to receive power cuts. Agriculture is the one more likely to be severely impacted with the shortage. Besides, there is likelihood of low rains. This is because climate change remains a challenge in the Region.

‘’Business remains product of burden in the whole set up of the energy challenge. Energy now stands to affect a number of them be it in Agriculture, people in mining and those also in small scale Business and Manufacturing. It tells a lot about what the country needs to do in order to remain in vibrant Business ‘’.

‘’There is need for Investments, more to say in Renewable Energy.  Investments in Renewable Energy lifts up the country from extreme poverty, hunger and it saves the Environment. By Investing in Renewable Energy, we are empowering citizens.

‘’ 60% of emissions are from ‘’dirty energy ‘’, that is Thermal Energy from Coal. The country has been using Coal Energy for the past 100 years.  This is the worst ‘’dirty energy ‘’ which  must not remain threatening inlk countries that need to develop in terms of humanitarian sectors , Health and Education and Economy sectors Agriculture , Mining , Manufacturing Industry and Tourism .’’

‘’The Green House Emissions are harmful. They have over the years affected communities that later become vulnerable in terms of the Health of the Nation. Besides, Business, Women and children in families, communities are at most affected health wise, economically and socially. Women do all domestic chores, serve children, support and protects them at home. They preserve the Environment so as to protect the Bio-Sphere’’

Dr Chitambira noted that the exploitation of Solar is the only Business venture the country can be in, in-order to become viably active in National Economic Growth working with the Energy Sector. Dr Chitambara pointed out that the current highest shortage has impacted the three main sectors, this leading to low Gross Domestic Product.

‘’The need to exploit Solar Energy is un-questionable. Countries of the World need to venture effectively into Solar Energy which is the Energy of a New Revolution. Business is down in the country. It means we are moving further deep into economic hardships in all the sectors of the Economy’’, he said

Solar Energy in the Green Revolution.

The world is expected to reach a green revolution by 2030. This is a period whereby all countries of the world are compelled to use clean energy that is solar energy. Africa in the developing world could be the first epitome to get into renewable solar energy. Other forms of solar energy are wind, wave and geo-thermal power. Many countries are exploiting these forms so as to buttress Hydro-Power.

These are environmentally friendly forms of energy which women can even exploit for the benefit of developing broad based developed economies. Women currently are heavily impacted because of the dwindling deforestrated environment that is not being aforestrated. Therefore it means death of the natural environment. This explains that the bio-fuel [fire-wood] women have relied on becomes extinct in the eyes of women.

A young Zimbabwean boy does his homework under a candle light in Harare. (Jekesai Njikizana/AFP)

A young Zimbabwean boy does his homework under a candle light in Harare. (Jekesai Njikizana/AFP)

Women are hit hardest because of the following reasons:

  1. Domestic work they do to support children in terms of food supply therefore women hold community food security.
  2. Women fetch firewood in the forest therefore if deforestation, denudation and mass wasting continues women are seriously affected in terms of energy service delivery related to bio fuels. Therefore it is vital to develop solar renewable energy in order to save women from expenses related to firewood, searching energy alternatives, food gathering that is wild from the forest and also taking care of livestock at home. If women are exposed to these conditions they become vulnerable to sexual abuse during their activities in the forest.
  3. A number of women are in agriculture. They are into tobacco growing therefore they need to cure tobacco. Energy is the alternative challenge they have because Environmental Management Agency (EMA) is tightly working against environmental degradation. Most of them end up using Coal, Thermal Power.
  4. Women have grown big in mining therefore they need all forms of energy in order for them to do their work. Most of them are artisanal small scale miners who need empowerment in terms of renewable energy. Besides they need awareness, sensitisation and advocacy related to ways of managing the natural environment. The link lies between issues of energy and the environment. However the environment is slowly disappearing because of several factors that need to be addressed at a global level.

 

It vital therefore for countries of the World to focus on policies on Environmental Management in order to develop water sources for Hydro-Power. Secondly, to foster growth and Economic development through the support of a Green Revolution. Thirdly, the need to avoid all forms of pollution, water, air and land pollution to make the environment green. Once this is done, women can exploit solar energy, wind and wave energy because all forms of the explained energy is from water and air natural life.

There are issues of the Environment that will take centre stage in my second story. Stay tuned to hot factors pulling women down .Women are of our first concern. They matter in every aspect of our daily LIVES. I hope and wish to toast you with the great master- class information.

*Nevson Mpofu –is a multi-awarded Zimbabwean Media person and Published Literature Writer. He is also a DEVELOPMENT STUDIES LECTURER at Career Management Centre, A London based Graduate Learning Institute based in Harare

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