Electricity blackout powers women protest in Buea

For over one month now, part of Buea, South West region of the republic of Cameroon has been experiencing instability in electricity supply. To this effect, dozens of women took to the streets this October 15 to protest about the continues blackout they had been experiencing. The women were carrying placards written “give us electricity”, “We say no yo darkness”.

According to the women, the men of their area had tried getting access to ENEO (the company in charge of electricity supply in Cameroon) officials to no avail reasons why they decided to take to the streets in a peaceful protest. The women were intercepted by the forces of law and order and guided to the DO’s office where they laid their complaints.

One of the women explaining their ordeal

“What brought us here is what has been going on in Buea town precisely Mokunda, Munyamongo, Komboni and other neighbouring areas. It had reached a level that when we are given electricity, it lasts only for five minutes. We no longer use our fridges. Our children who are going to school have to travel far distances to charge their laptops for research. As I am standing here, I don’t even have a phone because it’s not useful. Imaging sending a phone from Mokunda to Bonalyonga just to be charged. Some phones get missing in the process. It’s very challenging. Thieves have also taken advantage of the situation.” One of the women lamented.

An ENEO official who was present at the scene reassured the women that they were looking into the situation “What has been happening there is that for some time, Buea town had issues with lights and some persons went ahead to connect on your transformer causing it to be overloaded reasons why you people have been having such blackout. What we are trying to do is to disconnect these people and reconnect them on their original transformer. It is not an easy procedure reasons why we are taking so much time”.

Women in front of Buea DO’s office

The DO of Buea, Abba Abdouraman, after listening to the women and the representative from ENEO, called on the electricity supplying company to intensify efforts to restore power to the worrying areas “If initially you worked for two hours, you now have to work for six hours. We want you to put in more efforts so that the lights don’t just come and go but remain stable.”

The management of ENEO assured the population that they had started work already and were doing everything to restore power to the dark areas “We have started the procedure and have discovered a good number that have been returned to their original transformer”.
The women on their part warned that should nothing be done fast, they were going to take the issue to a higher authority “We hope the situation is addressed otherwise we will take it to a higher authority”.

By Sandrine M.

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