Zimbabweans urged to turn off switches for one hour to mark Earth Hour

HARARE, (Xinhua) — Zimbabweans have been urged to join the global community in commemorating Earth Hour Saturday night by enduring a voluntary blackout and switching off all non-essential electrical appliances between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Power utility ZESA Holdings, through its subsidiary the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, on Saturday issued a public message imploring Zimbabweans to participate in the commemorations “as a demonstration of commitment to combating the effects of climate change.”

“As a global citizen, you are encouraged to switch off your premises that hour in order to make an impact and difference in combating the effects of climate change,” the message said.

However, the message falls on a day many Zimbabweans enjoy themselves in night spots and other places of entertainment, making it difficult for it to be heeded.

Ordinary people Xinhua spoke to said this would be something new for Zimbabweans to voluntarily switch off their power in a country which has endured power blackouts for more than a decade as the power utility grapples with dilapidated equipment to service consumers.