Zambia: Electricity Price Hike Raises Deforestation Fears

Lusaka — As electricity becomes more costly, more families may turn to firewood and charcoal for heating and cooking, critics fear

Zambia's energy regulator has approved a 75 percent boost in the country's electric rates, a move environmental groups fear could push more households to use charcoal and wood as an alternative energy source.

Zesco, the state electric provider, said the price boost was needed as a result of depreciation in the national currency, higher interest rates and rising operational costs, including the cost of buying energy from private power producers, who have stepped in to fill shortages created last year by drought across southern Africa.



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