Zambian president orders energy ministry not to cut electricity to health centers

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Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu sits in the Presidential Palace in Lusaka, Zambia, 20 November 2015. Photo: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa | usage worldwide (Photo by Bernd Von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu sits in the Presidential Palace in Lusaka, Zambia. (Photo by Bernd Von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Friday directed the country’s energy ministry not to cut power to health facilities as well as water supply operations in the wake of a crippling power crisis.

The Zambian leader said the ministry should prioritize electricity supply to hospitals and health centers because they were critical institution.

“I am aware Mr. Speaker, of some health facilities going without power for long periods of time. I begin to wonder how our health workers are looking after our patients without water and electricity which are both, extremely important and a human necessity within the management of patients,” he said in his State of the Nation address delivered in parliament.

He addressed the audience with the theme — “Accelerating Sustainable Development for a better Zambia amidst the impact of climate change”.

Zambia is currently a power deficit which has forced the country’s power utility to start rationing electricity supply on a six-hour basis. Plans are currently being mooted to start importing power from Mozambique and South Africa.

The Zambian leader noted that climate change was the world’s major challenge and was hindering development in many countries.

According to him climate change was real and that it was a phenomenon that the entire world was facing and called for concerted efforts to tackle it.

“My government is committed to ensuring that we fight, and fight vigorously the effects of climate change, for sustainable development of our country. As I have said, we must join hands to achieve this. It must be one at political level, inter-governmental level, including corporate and civil society organizations, and at household level,” he added.

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