Electricity Distribution: Dire Need For Lasting Solutions!

Efforts to proffer solutions to certain problems seem to give room for even harder and complicated outcomes. This probably explains the intermittent power cuts being witnessed of late in the Centre, South, Littoral, West, North West and South West Regions of the country. Some might be wondering why they go for hours without electricity in spite of the huge investments the State is making in the sector. But a statement made public by Electricity of Cameroon (ENEO) on 3 Novembers, 2023 gave an official explanation. The company said it had been brought to its notice that two major power plants in its distribution network. Namely; the Kribi gas-fired station and the Dibamba oil-fired station have stopped energy supply to ENEO because of unpaid bills.     
Those wondering how to get their businesses to continue without electricity or family worried to preserve food from decaying in the refrigerators have to wait! The 88MW Dibamba plant and the 216MW gas-fired power station in Kribi which are indispensable in energy supply in the entire southern grid, managed by Globeleq Company, require FCFA 8 billion monthly to function. An amount which ENEO says they cannot cough out so easily because they are even being owed more than the amount by ENEO clients. ENEO is talking of being owed FCAF 700 billion, and faced with such a difficult situation, they are obliged to resort to load shedding by providing electricity to certain neighbourhoods while excluding others. Even the estimated average duration of six hours that users are expected to stay without electricity in affected localities is just indicative and could even be longer, according to ENEO.     
This information is not assuring to anyone in a context where so much has been injected into the energy sector to permit Cameroon attain the status of an emerging economy by 2035. Efforts to industrialise the economy, ensure agricultural mechanisation and even the wellbeing of individuals in the community depend so much on electricity and water supply. These goods are rightfully considered as basic commodities. Their absence or poor supply can only be damaging to the national economy and the public in general.     
The difficulties being posed by Globeleq and ENEO are coming in the rainy season when the natural factors are favourable for electricity and water supply. This ought to be a period when people go about their activities in total serenity, knowing that nature has abundantly endowed the country with resources that should keep citizens away from certain setbacks. Apart from the natural factors, government has in the past decades of invested so much in the construction of dams like the Lom-Pangar, Memve’ele, Mekin, Nyabizan, Natchingal and so on. These dams are being added to others which already existed.     
Solar energy and others have for long been presented as part of the alternatives that could get the country out of electricity hurdles. The solution could only lie in fashioning out the right formula to harness such power sources. It would appear that the dams could have been an ideal solution to power shortages if they had enough back-up water supply systems to enable them function all year round. In the absence of such fall-back positions, the population as well as investors and potential entrepreneurs are subjected to the yoke of uncertainty. The nosedive that businesses face in such a context and even households can be enormous. Of course, needless to recall that the affected localities are not just the most populated, but hosts major business activities in the country. These are six out of ten regions in the country that are obliged to do without steady power supply for an undetermined period.     
It is further being compounded by the current setup whereby the entire country is witnessing the population flowing towards major cities. They definitely bring along truck-loads of their problems and challenges into such towns. Yaounde, Douala, Ebolowa, Limbe, Buea, Bamenda and many other towns have seen an unprecedented influx of peopl...



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