PERSISTENT power outages have grounded the operations of the mortuary at the newly constructed Masaiti District Hospital, Mishikishi ward councillor Delight Mutale has revealed. In a letter of concern to Zesco Limited regional manager in Ndola, Mutale said the situation had left residents of Masaiti district in dire stress regarding whether to keep bodies in their homes or transport them to Ndola Central Hospital mortuary for those that could afford.
“May I draw your attention to frequent electricity outages at Masaiti District Hospital. Ours is not a new locality, Masaisti district has recorded a rise in development activities. Specifically in Mishikishi ward, we have a new modern hospital, which is the only health institution with a fully equipped mortuary. However, this mortuary is non-functional as the power cuts have heavily affected its operations,” Mutale stated.
He stated that the power supply to the institution in most cases only lasted two hours.
“Experts tell us this kind of power supply cannot sustain mortuary operations. This situation has left residents of the entire district with two options; the first is keeping the dead bodies in their homes and the second being the transportation of the bodies to Ndola Central Hospital mortuary which is 65 kilometres away,” Mutale stated.
He complained that the latter option was expensive for the largely peasant population who needed to transport the bodies back to the village for burial. Mutale stated that although most residents had opted for the first option of keeping bodies in the house for three traditional mourning days, it had proved to be a serious health hazard, which prompted him to write Zesco management.
“…the few investors in agriculture, tourism and hospitality industries are even threatening to pull out of the district because power outages are hampering their operations,” stated Mutale.