By Boris Esono Nwenfor
For the past days, the population of Buea, Tiko and those in Kumba, all in the South West Region of Cameroon has become accustomed to the noise emanating from generators around these municipalities. These areas have been living under constant power outages.
The localities at the moment that are affected included: West Coast, Limbe, Ombe Mutengene, Tiko, Missellele, Buea, Ekona, Muyuka, Mbonge, Tombel, Kumba, and their surroundings.
The blackout started in Buea, chief town of the South West Region in the evening hours of Sunday, March 8. And at the time of this report, the epileptic nature of the electricity supply is still being felt in the Buea municipality. The Worst still, a whole day will pass and the municipality will be in darkness, no light from morning till morning.
“What kind of thing is this? How can they (ENEO) be seizing lights when we are writing our examinations,” one UB student lamented. “I have been forced to use a candle to read all through this while, and it has not been easy for me. My eye pain everything I used the candle to read in the night. I just hope the electricity company does something to rectify the issue because it is aching.”
Another Buea inhabitant noted: “That is the vision 2035 our government plans to give us. When there is monopoly over the provision of some necessities, such things are bound to happen. If we had another company charged with providing electricity, ENEO would have stepped up its game knowing there is competition. But they are relaxed because there is not competition.”
Business premises especially those that need electricity supply to function (documentation, cyber café) have felt the brunt of this power outages. Majority of them do not open their shops or do open with the hope that the light will be brought back. That hope, however, as the day unfolds turns to disappoint as the light is not brought back.
A message from the electricity company, ENEO Cameroon S.A dated 11 March 2020, indicated that the disruption to the electrical service currently being experienced by its esteemed customers in Fako and Meme Divisions is as a result of an incident that occurred on the transformer of the Limbe Mile 2 substation on Sunday 8, March 2020 at 07:00
According to ENEO, SONATREL’s team are currently working hard to get the situation back to normal as soon as possible. “The absence of this transmission facility has increased the constraints on the distribution network, thereby obliging ENEO to ration the electricity supply, to keep the system balanced,” the communiqué read in part.
The company has called on its customers to activate any alternative energy sources at their disposal if the need arises but warned that customers should unplug all sensitive devices, and not to plug them back in again, until 15 minutes after the current has been fully restored.
Despite the tireless dedication of our technicians, repair works at our power station remain inconclusive, up to this moment. As a result, all affected localities remain without power supply,” another communiqué noted.
“Limbe and the upper parts of Buea are currently being supplied thanks to a reconfiguration of the network. However, because of the strain which night-time power consumption puts on our network system, these localities may experience periods of disturbances this evening.”
With Buea/Limbe scheduled to host the Africa Nations Championship from April 4-25, many inhabitants are wondering how the municipality will host such a competition with the frequent power outages.