• September 8, 2023

Too Much ‘Blackout’ residents of East End cries out loud

Too Much ‘Blackout’ residents of East End cries out loud
Share on

By Hassan Osman Kargbo

Electricity is indeed important in our everyday lives. The importance of building on the country’s energy sector in order to fast track private sector development to foster overall socioeconomic development cannot be overstated. Piyush Goyal once said that electricity can transform people’s lives, not just economically but also socially, so this shows how relevant is electricity in any country. But in Sierra Leone, citizens are living in continuous power crisis. Sierra Leone’s electricity situation is again on the spotlight with a major power crisis ongoing in the East End of Freetown. Many communities in the East End of the city are currently battling with incessant power outages which have affected residents and business people living in the East End of Freetown. For far too long electricity has been a major challenge in Freetown, East End is not an exception.

The city of Freetown is divided into three municipal regions; the East End, Central, and the West End. Many are considering the East End as the most deprived part for not only electricity but also developmental issues as well. Unarguably, East End is both the most populous, and the most densely populous of the three regions within the capital of Freetown, but it seems like they are not enjoying the country’s facilities. Facilities like: good roads, clean water facility, electricity etc.

The shortage of electricity at the East End is not news for many people, because many people are of the view that East End is not part of the developmental agenda of this current dispensation. It is not a secret that some communities are going for almost a month now without electricity supply. The frequent lack of electricity supply at Brima Lane and other communities at the East End part of the city has forced many residents to revert to the use of generators, while others who cannot afford its sleep in total darkness.

Speaking to Forum News SL, on the incessant ‘blackout’ at the East End of the Freetown, Adama Sesay, resident at the Wellington, who is a single mother of four, cried out loud about the serious economic damage the power shortage has caused her, stating that her family livelihood has been put at stake by the persistent power outage at Wellington and its environs.

“My entire livelihood depends on electricity supply because I have two freezers which I use to refrigerate water and different types of drinks for sale from which I pay my rent, feed my four kids, and address every other financial matter for my kids. This continuous blackout is killing us slowly,” she disclosed. Madam Adama continued that since the power outage began some months ago, she had lost more than a million Leones as a profit in her business, she added that there are other devastating consequences she and her children are facing as a result of the ‘blackout’ at Wellington. She stated that schools have reopened and if this continues, their children’s performances will be dropping in school because they will find it difficult to studies at night.

Furthermore, Mohamed Sheriff, the Chief Executive Officer – CEO, Family Water Company at Calaba Town, said his homes and business place has gone for weeks now without electricity supply. He added that he has resorted to using his generator so that he could get electricity.

Since the beginning of May 2023, we have been getting continue power outage and sometimes he added that the current is so low that it cannot effectively illuminate their bulb at night. He said most of their home appliances have been destroyed as a result of low voltage electricity supply at Calaba Town.

“This is a worrying situation because I am spending more money on fuel than before, considering the high amount on fuel price at the moment in the country. The electricity situation in Freetown and Calaba Town to be specific is nothing good to write home about; he disclosed. We want the authorities to explain to us what has gone wrong after several promises were made to the people. The area of tariff is something that is disturbing us seriously, we paid huge amount of tariff but we’re not enjoying what we paid for,’ he said.

A trader at Brima Lane Market, Kadiatu Kanu, who sells locally prepared soft drinks and ginger beer, said most of the drinks in her refrigerator have gone bad as a result of the low power outage in that part of the capital, Freetown.

“If the soft drinks in the refrigerator are not cold, no customer would want to buy them. And if I don’t sell anything for the day, it means I have lost a lot because all of us feed on what we sell,” she said and claimed that electricity is frequently supplied to certain communities in the central part and also at the West end part where top government officials lives, while many areas at the East End of Freetown are neglected.

They normally gave us light within the week, maybe once a week and the power supply can hardly put on our freezers even when we use stabilizers,” she lamented.

Moreover, at Low-Cost Housing Kissy, residents have expressed disappointments at the central government they supported so passionately, business people say they are barely functioning with the total lack of power at Low-Cost.

Also, at Rokupa, police say the situation has led to an increase in the crime rate as thieves take advantage of the dark to attack innocent residents within and outside the community. Rokupa and Portee communities have been labelled by crime reports as the highest incidents of robbery at the East End of Freetown, this is mentioned by a residents of Rokupa and they stated that all these is happening as a result of the continuous power outage in the East of the city.

I am convinced that if twenty-four hour light is supplied at our communities crime rates will drastically reduce; thieves and other unscrupulous people will find it very difficult to cause havoc and mayhem to residents in our communities, a resident at Portee disclosed.

Finally, after thorough findings, 70% of Sierra Leoneans are facing with electricity problem. Poor electricity facility is among several problems that not only the East End of the country is facing but also the entire country as a whole is facing this power crises in the country. With all these serious electricity situations that people are facing, it is important for the authorities to look into their problem and find possible solutions to these electricity problems. It should be mandatory on the part of the government, as a recommendation of minimizing “Blackout” in Sierra Leone. The government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Energy should recruit more professionals that will handle the energy sector activities so that blackout will be a thing of the past.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *