Power Outage Plunges Town Into Darkness

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By Special Correspondent OPUWO Residents of Opuwo in the Kunene Region had to endure several hours without electricity on Wednesday as a result of a power outage at the town that lasted from around midnight to 10h45 on Thursday when it was finally restored. The Northern Regional Electricity Distributing Company (Nored)’s public relations officer, Frans Niikondo, confirmed the outage to a New Era correspondent at the town. He said a wild cat that climbed on the 11 KV transformer line of NamPower severely disrupting the power supply caused the outage. According to Niikondo, the cat was electrocuted on the high voltage power line. “It took so long to rescue the situation because it was still very dark and line inspectors were all hard at work trying to trace the affected line which is out of town.” Most offices were affected but they later resumed their operations when everything was repaired by a team of experts from Nored and NamPower who worked on the line. Most shops that do not have generator backups were also affected and only resumed their operations afterwards. “We lost money from this whole outage interruption because we couldn’t operate at all. We don’t’ have a generator to back us up from these similar interruptions. Imagine we charge N$15 after 15 minutes from our five computers and now, from early morning to something to 11 we were out of operations but, anyway it is fine now that the situation is back to normal,” said Katiti Muharukua, an employee of Good News Communication Centre Internet Cafe. “I am very happy now that everything is back to normal because I was just scared that the 2004/5 scenario would repeat itself when we experienced days without power. For me business was normal despite that – the generator we are using can’t cater for all normal shop activities because some of the coolers are not connected to the generator given its small size,” said Muharukua. “The outage had a negative business impact because whenever these interruptions occur, we normally have to ‘cough up’ the generator’s diesel fuel from our own coffers and of course the fees milked will depend on the duration of the interruption as well,” said Steven van Deventer who is the manager of the OK retail shop in Opuwo. Residents claim the persistence power outages normally cause extensive damage to their electrical appliances.