Elections and Electricity

For a year or so now the centre has been suffering
prolonged power cuts, disrupting work on a daily basis, and making it difficult to pump water for the schools, orphanage and daily use.
On some occasions we have had to close the school because we could not provide water to flush toilets.

In addition erratic power leads to damage to freezers and other equipment and hence lost food and
medical supplies, as well as huge amounts of lost work time. We have averaged as little as 12 hours of power in a day, and sometimes 48 hours with only a few hours of power.

One implication of this is that laptops rather than PCs (as uninterruptible power supplies are costly) are our best hope for computer use.

As elections approached, the situation improved somewhat. The bad news is that there is no sign of a short-term fix to the problem after the elections. There is a power shortage in the southern African region in general, and while capacity remains low, in spite of
frequent complaints, residents of Makeni have continued to receive worse treatment than residents in other areas of Lusaka.

Elections have now passed off quite peacefully, and we hope that the present glut of power (that is, as much as 48 hours without interruption) will continue! Fingers crossed…

About Makeni Webmaster

I spent most of my youth in Makeni, growing up at the centre as it emerged from the bush, one building at a time. I now work in the UK as a lecturer in computer science.
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