By Michael Liswaniso
Electricity supply was finally restored on Tuesday evening at Opuwo the Kunene’s regional capital after a power outage lasting more than 24 hours.
Since Monday, residents had to do without electricity.
According to the Marketing and Communication Officer of the Northern Regional Electricity Distributor (NORED), Frans Niikondo, the power outage was caused by a bolt of lighting that struck one of the high voltage lines, causing a fault along the transmission line between Ruacana and Opuwo.
“We are regrettable to our customers but we cannot guarantee a stop to these power outages. We are more into distribution and when a fault is on the transmission line, it is mostly out of our hands,” explained Niikondo.
The nation’s power utility NamPower’s experienced staff had to deal with the fault that was only detected after several hours of line inspection undertaken with the help of a helicopter.
Opuwo’s electricity is supplied via a 66-kilovolts line from Ruacana hydro station, generating up to 240 megawatts of electricity annually depending on river flow.
Business for most traders was however not seriously affected due to the use of diesel generators that provided backup for most retailers and other businesses.
Though this was the case, one of the prominent shops at the town, Power Save Super Market, had to reduce its operating hours to avert problems.
“Fortunately I had little stock in my refrigerators but otherwise on a customer basis and on fuel for the five-litre generator, I lost a lot of money,” said Henrique Wustrow, the Manager of Power Save Super Market.
Most residents complained that they lost their perishable goods, adding that they were also deprived of their favourite radio and television programmes as a result of the outage.
Other affected places were Okondaunue, Okorusave, Orumana, Alfa, Otjerunda, Okangwati and Ohandungu.