Cameroon: Barometre – the Challenge of an Emergency

Yaounde has been hit by a sudden electricity crisis out of the normal upheavals its inhabitants have been acquainted with. Until the joint statement issued by the newly created National Electricity Transmission Corporation (SONATREL) and ENEO on August 08 followed by a series of other statements including that of the Minister of Water Resources and Energy, the population had found itself in complete state of confusion. Electricity blackout had become sudden, unannounced and affected the whole city. The damage this must have caused is yet to be sized up. Destruction of appliances, food decay in refrigerators, disruption of economic activities are some of the devastating consequences that could be identified. How far this unfortunate situation will go is the question on every lip. What is now clear is that a major incident occurred on the BRGM transmission post in Yaounde resulting in a fire outburst which led to an interruption in electricity supply to some neighbourhoods, the said transformer having gone out of service. The gravity of the incident to say the least calls for urgent measures to be taken considering that this transformer represents up to 25 per cent of the supply system in the city of Yaounde. To go by the statement of the companies concerned, while investigations are still going on, all measures have been taken to minimise the inconveniencies caused. In he same vein, following the crisis meeting convened by the Minister of Water Resources and Energy, instructions have been given to both SONATREL and ENEO to take special measures to scale down the impact on the affected areas. The two companies are expected to and have been instructed to that effect to ensure that areas that were served by the transformer are attended to by deploying neighbouring transformers to their service, notably those of Kondengui and Ngousso. They have equally been asked to prioritize sensitive zones especially those with hospitals and water distribution infrastructure. Load shedding programme has to be put up for inhabitants to know when exactly they should expect electricity. These, of course, remain temporary measures but the heart of the whole problem is rehabilitating the transformer as fast as possible. Its an emergency challenge for SONATREL and ENEO.

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