ZAMBIA – Zambia’s electricity supply company, ZESCO, has exempted the Zambia National Service (ZNS) milling plants across the country from load shedding.

This strategic decision aims to enhance mealie meal production, ensure the availability of this essential commodity, and have a positive ripple effect on the local economy. It will ensure that mealie meal, a staple food in Zambia, remains accessible and affordable for all.

ZNS Commander Lieutenant General Maliti Solochi announced this initiative during a courtesy call on Kalabo District Commissioner Musangu Njamba.

He emphasized the importance of an uninterrupted power supply in maintaining continuous production at ZNS milling plants, which is crucial for sustaining mealie meal stocks and supporting price stability.

The exemption from load shedding for ZNS milling plants is a strategic move to ensure a steady production of mealie meal, which is crucial for market stability,” Lieutenant General Solochi stated.

Commissioner Njamba highlighted the adverse effects of erratic electricity supply in Western Province, noting that it has significantly reduced the availability of mealie meal in the district.

He expressed optimism that the decision to exempt ZNS milling plants from load shedding would mitigate these challenges.

The sporadic supply of electricity has greatly affected mealie meal production in our district. This decision by ZESCO and ZNS will undoubtedly improve the situation and ensure a consistent supply of mealie meal for our residents,” said Commissioner Njamba.

This initiative is part of broader efforts to address the energy challenges impacting food production and market stability in Zambia.

The nation is currently bearing the effects of drought on its food security.

Recently, the World Bank approved a US$208 million (R3.8 billion) grant for Zambia to help address the social and economic impact of the drought that has hit the southern African nation.

The funding, which will come mainly from the International Development Association (IDA), will provide emergency financial assistance to more than 1.6 million households in 84 drought-affected districts over 12 months. 

According to Zambia’s Food Security Cluster Joint Rapid Assessment Report (March 2024), drought has affected food availability in the country, leading to significant shortages of key food commodities in the local market.

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