SAFEY reported that there was a power cut caused by a technical fault on December 22nd, 2015, which left most of Zambia without electricity.

Alerts were sent to users in the area that the blackout was caused by faulty equipment, and that only the Southern and Western provinces are unaffected.

The incident followed a similar power outage on December 11th, 2015. Zambia continues to suffer from a power shortage crisis, due to the worst drought in three decades. Zambia relies on hydroelectricity, but droughts have lowered water levels at Kariba dam and other hydroelectric plants.


Our Advice to Travelers:

  • If a power outage is for two hours or less, do not be concerned about losing your perishable foods.
  • For prolonged power outages, there are steps you can take to minimize food loss. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours. Then use food from the freezer. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
  • Turn off or disconnect any appliances, equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights may be out and roads congested.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate units away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
  • Increase risk of crime due to power failure of security systems.