THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) is set to roll out consumer awareness programmes, starting with Bulawayo particularly on the safe use of liquefied petroleum gas (LP) after noting a rise in accidents due to improper use.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
Many households have turned to using LP gas or solar energy owing to rolling electricity cuts lasting several hours.
Illegal LP gas retailers have also mushroomed with statistics from Zera showing that consumption of gas has risen to 2,5 million kilogrammes per month up from 1,5 million registered over a year ago.
According to Zera consumer services and administration assistant Sikhulile Ncube, the consumer awareness programmes on proper use of LP gas were necessary to avoid loss of lives and property due to improper use.
“We have witnessed accidents resulting from improper use of LP gas,” Ncube said, adding that the awareness programme would be held at Pumula South Hall on Friday before it is taken to other locations and other parts of the country.
“Some accidents have happened because people store fuel inside houses and Zera felt that it was important for us to empower communities by holding awareness campaigns.”
LP gas retailers are required to have a Zera certified gas station and obtain a gas retailer licence.
They also need to have a compliance certificate from the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and Zera.
The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company is failing to generate enough electricity, blaming water shortages at its main Kariba hydroelectric power plant.
Much of the country’s power comes from the hydro-powered plants, while electricity generation at its other plants is subdued due to ageing equipment.