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Zesa fault knocks suburbs off grid

by Staff reporter
17 Nov 2022 at 05:03hrs | Views
SEVERAL western suburbs in Bulawayo have gone for four days without power supplies, which is suspected to be a result of a technical fault at sub-stations.

Affected suburbs include Njube, Pumula South, Gwabalanda, parts of Mpopoma, Mpilo Hospital and Barbourfields.

Yesterday a Chronicle news visited some of the suburbs where residents expressed frustration over delays by the power utility in fixing the problem.

Ms Siphokazi Dube (56) of Pumula South said her family was stranded and for a diabetic patient like her the situation was dire as her medication needs to be stored in a cold place. She feared the medication might go bad.

"Replacing the insulin is very expensive. If it goes bad l don't have the money to replace it," she said. Ms Dube has resorted to covering the insulin bottle with wet sand.

Mr Taruvinga Kanisai who runs a butchery in Njube said he was counting losses after being forced to sell the bulk of his stock at lower prices due to lack of the cold storage facility.

"I had to reduce the price of my meat because l have no alternative. The generator l have is not strong enough to power the cold rooms. This is really a great loss," he said.

Ms Sophia Ndlovu from Emakhandeni said she has five-day old broilers that need lights for warmth and continuous feeding.

"I have tried buying some solar lights as an alternative but they are not really the best. I am scared they will affect the growth of my chicks," she said.

A resident of Mzilikazi, Mr Morris Makore, said indications were that the Emakhandeni substation was not functioning properly. As a vendor, he said prolonged power cuts were crippling his business as clients do not buy warm drinks.

In Gwabalanda residents said the power outage was affecting school children who could not study properly as they are writing examinations.

"It's hard for my daughter to read when there is no electricity. They have shifted from their normal studying time table and going back to the same schedule is going to be difficult," he said.

In a response posted on its Twitter handle, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), apologised to clients citing a technical fault.

Last month, almost half of Bulawayo was plunged into darkness, with residential areas the most affected, after heavy rains that were accompanied by thunder and lightning damaged three substations.

Suburbs such as Paddonhurst, North End, Sunnyside, Romney Park, Queens Park, Cowdray Park, Pumula East, Entumbane, Emakhandeni, Njube, Thorngrove, Nguboyenja, Mzilikazi, Hillside, Gwabalanda, Luveve, Mahatshula, Richmond and Sauerstown, had gone for more than a day without electricity.

ZETDC Western region manager Engineer Lloyd Jaji attributed this to technical faults at substations.

"There are three substations around Bulawayo that were affected by the heavy rains on Thursday. These are the ones in Queens Park, Emagetsini and Lensdile. So, the suburbs that are supplied have no electricity at the moment," said Engineer Jaji.

Source - The Chronicle