Tanzania faces power shortages, rationing due to drought

Thursday September 28 2023

Overhead electric power transmission lines belonging to Tanzania Electric Supply Company. PHOTO | AFP


Drought and maintenance issues have forced Tanzania to ration electricity, the national provider said, as power shortages roil the nation. 

The authorities imposed rationing measures last week, with the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) saying on Wednesday that the shortages would end by March next year.

Tanzania currently has the capacity to generate about 1,900 megawatts, according to Gissima Nyamo-Hanga, the new managing director of Tanesco, with natural gas accounting for about 65 percent of its energy output.

"We have a shortage of 400 megawatts in the national grid due to low inflow of water, maintenance of gas-powered plants and the increasing demand for electricity," Nyamo-Hanga said in a statement released on Wednesday.

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"We are working hard in cooperation with government agencies to reduce this shortage starting next month," he said, adding that Tanesco plans to restore 100 megawatts to the national grid in October after undertaking maintenance activities.


Nyamo-Hanga was appointed to the power utility company last week, with President Samia Suluhu Hassan urging him and other officials to "end the crisis" within six months.

"I don't want to hear anymore about power rationing," she said.

The country is trying to increase its hydropower capacity, including through the ongoing construction of the controversial Julius Nyerere dam project in the Selous Game Reserve, which is expected to produce 2,100 megawatts once operational.