Power cuts cripple business

CHIPINGE The rural business community here has said the intermittent power cuts and long electricity load shedding has crippled business. The business people told The Zimbabwean that the government should now strengthen the supply of electricity in order to guarantee that most areas have access to energy and power.

This came out at a meeting held in Chipinge South last week organized by Rural Development Projects Centre, a non Governmental Organisation. The rural community in Chipinge South expressed concern over some areas that still do not have electricity.

Silvernos Mutemerera, who spoke on behalf of business people in the area, said this development had greatly affected business and stalled developmental projects such as improving access to information communication technology by the rural population.

Many of our businesses use electricity. We are now finding it extremely difficult to operate. Some of our counterparts have since closed their businesses. Those with grinding mills are now operating at midnight because that is the only time that electricity would be available. It will be only for few hours before the electricity is gone, he lamented.

An official from Agricultural Rural Extension Services Passmore Goredema said lack of electricity in the rural areas had also resulted in massive deforestation as people resorted to cutting down trees to meet energy requirements.

A lot of places in rural areas are without electricity despite governments efforts to electrify the whole country. At some areas where there is electricity, load shedding has become the order of the day. There are long hours of load shedding and we are appealing to the government and responsible authorities to improve our situation, he said.

The business community also urged the government and relevant stakeholders to explore and exploit other alternative sources of energy such as solar to address power shortages in the country.

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