With a deteriorating economy, rising inflation, and the subsequent effects of lack of water, electricity, and fuel, Zimbabwe is a country that is barely keeping afloat. Is there a way out for one of Africa's once formidable nations?
Even with a new government in office, it seems as though Zimbabweans cannot simply catch a break. Earlier this week, the country's Vice president Kembo Mohadi lamented that the country had become ungovernable following post-election riots that broke out in August last year, and again the fuel riots in January this year. The country and its leadership are buckling under the pressure to restore Zimbabwe to its ancient glory before colonisation and Mugabe's regime.
After years of plundering under the Mugabe regime, the country's economy has tremendously suffered with the masses feeling the biting effects of that deterioration. The country is faced with water, electricity, and fuel crisis all of which are threatening to bring Zimbabweans to their knees. While the water crisis is vastly widespread within the country, it is particularly worse in the metropolitan provinces of Harare and Bulawayo. The severity of the situation is fueled by the lack of water treatment chemicals and lack of foreign currency to import the things needed to ensure water supply and access.
This situation is compounded by the lack of electricity and fuel to power the informal sector which usually operates in non-industrial areas. Since most of the businesses in Zimbabwe are informal, the fuel situation has affected many households as they spend valuable working hours queueing for fuel just to get fuel that will only last them a few hours before they are back again on the queues. This has also affected pricing as the cost of transportation has gone up increasing the price of many things along the way and cutting into small margin profits that are made in the informal sector.
With a rising inflation rate of over 60%, the highest ever recorded in eleven years, the government is barely keeping the country afloat. The country's power utility, ZESA, has stated that it is working towards increasing electricity imports from Mozambique to augment local power generation which recently dipped due to low water levels at Kariba Dam which is the biggest generating plant in the country.
The deterioration of water levels at the Dam has put immense pressure on ZESA which is battling a myriad of problems from its power stations. Three power stations, Hwange, Harare, and Munyati, are said to have reduced power generation as a result of low coal output and old machinery. With its deteriorating currency, the government has found it incredibly difficult to purchase new equipment to bolster generation. With stop-gap measures such as licensing of some 34 companies to set up solar plants in the country having been rolled out, one has to wonder whether this will be enough to please an increasingly worried citizenry.
Header Image Credit: Zimbabwe today
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