President Edgar Lungu has said his government is committed to ensuring that the country’s electricity needs are secured.
The President said when he commissioned the first unit of the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro Power Station, in Chikankata District, Southern Province today that he was proud to be President of Zambia and a torch bearer of outstanding investments in the Energy Sector aimed at making the lives of the people better.
He said Dr Kenneth Kaunda left an indelible mark on the Kariba North Bank Power Station, adding that he will also leave an indelible mark on Kafue Gorge Lower.
President Lungu said his government has made tough but necessary decisions to unblock the challenges brought about by inadequate infrastructure in many sectors of the economy.
“Whether you like it or not, Dr. Kaunda left an indelible mark on the Kariba North Bank Power Station, and Edgar Chagwa Lungu is leaving an indelible mark here today. Upon forming government, my administration identified the need to invest in infrastructure, and we have continued to identify and aggressively implement projects which will lead to more inclusive economic growth,” he said.
“It is no secret that my government continues to invest in roads, clinics and hospitals, airports and power infrastructure such as the one we are witnessing today. We in PF firmly believe that infrastructure development is critical to opening up development for the entire country.”
The Head of State said that the economic gains that will accrue from the said investments will no doubt benefit the country and outlive not just the current hurdles but will benefit all citizens.
He said Zambia has over the years seen increased demand for electricity to power activities in various sectors such as mining, agriculture, tourism, industries, education, healthcare services, and indeed our homes.
He said the growth on demand for power has necessitated accelerated investments in power generation and transmission infrastructure.
The President also disclosed that investments in power generation did not grow proportionately with increased demand from 1977 to 2011.
“It is not a secret from 1977 to 2011 that investments in power generation did not grow proportionately with increased demand. The PF government, therefore, upon taking power in 2011 embarked on investing in robust power generation, transmission and distribution projects,” he said.
“Today’s commissioning of the first unit of the flagship Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro-Electric Power Project, is testimony to our commitment and resilience in ensuring that the country’s electricity needs are secured and meet our needs today and the future.”
And President Lungu said his government’s commitment to harnessing the country’s comparative advantage to generate, transmit and distribute power to citizens is meant to achieve the mantra of not leaving anyone behind.
He said government has overcome so many challenges and achieved so much in the electricity sector.
“In less than seven years, my government has introduced an additional 1,350 megawatts of power generation to the National Electricity grid. Today as I speak, we have a total national installed capacity of 3,250 megawatts. This is an increase of more than seventy percent from the previous installed national capacity of approximately 1,900 Megawatts,” he said.