Human Interest

Lingering Power Outage Cripples Economic Activities In Parts of Awka


By Chidera Prisca Nwokeukwu

Residents of St John of God Secondary School area and Onyeka Ilorah Street both in Awka, the Anambra State Capital have decried weeks of power outage, which has crippled socioeconomic activities in the affected areas.

The power outage, which began on April 2nd, 2024 following a period of low current starting in late March, was initially anticipated to be addressed within a few days but has since turned into a prolonged and significant problem, lingering for over two months.

According to Miss Chidera Nwokoye, who moved into the area just two months ago, the power outage began almost immediately, disrupting her plans as a new tenant.

“This situation has affected everything, and the residents are struggling with basic needs like water and charging of electronic devices”.

Nwokoye further recalled, “The situation is worsened by the recent increase in fuel prices. Neighbors who pump water using generators have raised their prices, charging 30 naira for a small bathing bucket and 50 naira for 25 liters of water.

“Since some compounds lack a generator for pumping water, all residents have to fetch water from other sources. Despite a group of residents visiting the NEPA office in mass, they returned with empty promises, and the power outage remains unresolved to date.”

Onyeka Ilorah who runs a laundry business in one of the affected areas said, “The problem of the power outage has affected my laundry service greatly because I had to use fuel daily for two months now without power support. Not all customers understand the sudden hike in my charges. Some will prefer to go to where there’s constant light to do their laundry.”

Another resident who gave his name as Emmanuel recounted, “Charging phones has become a tedious and risky task. I was nearly robbed of my phone while returning from a charging station one Sunday evening, caused by the dangers associated with the power outage.”

Johnbosco, who runs a barbing salon, also commented on the situation. “My business is badly affected as most customers didn’t find the high price of barbing now favorable, but we thank God anyway.”

It was gathered from some residents that on May 21st, 2024, a group of old tenants and local residents went door-to-door, collecting 1,000 naira from each household to fix the streetlights, despite the ongoing power outage.

They questioned when it became the tenants’ responsibility to provide street lighting, while suspecting that some people may be cashing in on the current challenge.

Interestingly, other streets in the area have been enjoying power supply.

As at the time of this report, residents were uncertain about the time the challenge would be over. “This is the current state of affairs for us living here, and it is not favorable at all. The prolonged power outage is causing significant hardship and disrupting daily life for all residents.

“Honestly, we are disenchanted. We have no hope when the supply will be restored,” one of the unhappy residents lamented.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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