Stanbic's stand at the recent ZESCO Alternate Power Expo. PHOTO: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG  - Stanbic Bank Zambia says financial institutions have a significant role to play in helping households as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) overcome the country's electricity crisis by financing projects for alternative power.

The crunch has resulted in power cuts often lasting over half a day and hurting business operations. Zambia's government is working on constructing new power plants and importing extra power from South Africa’s Eskom -- itself struggling to meet local demand -- to try and minimise the impact.

Ending the country’s power problems cannot be left to the government alone, Stanbic head of marketing Perry Siame said, calling on public and corporate entities to look into alternative sources of power to ease pressure on the national grid.

"By using alternative sources of energy, not only is the strain on the national power grid lessened, but we also shield ourselves from the infamous load-shedding," Siame said, urging financial institutions to facilitate this transition since going off grid even partially often required significant financial resources not readily available for SMEs.

“Stanbic is aware of the problems being faced by SMEs in terms of acquiring alternative power generators under the current climate and as Zambia’s largest bank, Stanbic has taken the initiative and is helping local entrepreneurs overcome their power problems,” he said.

The bank recently recently participated in an alternative power expo in the capital Lusaka organised by state-owned power company ZESCO where it displayed various electricity solutions including diesel generators, solar units and power invertors it finances under its Yasha Malaiti initiative.

- African News Agency (ANA)