STEVE OKO from Umuahia reports that two years after being in darkness that public power supply has returned to some major streets in Umuahia, the Abia State capital. The affected streets are located in the heart of the city and they include : Uwalaka , Udi, Chidiebere Nwoke, Oboro, Ozuitem, Okuzu streets and parts of Enugu Road. There was jubilation in this regards. The cause of their protracted power outage was the collapse of the electricity transformer in the area.
The transformer located at Enugu Road Junction by Uwalaka Street packed up precisely in August 2015, thus throwing the innocent and hapless residents into unimaginable darkness. Frantic but futile efforts were made by the residents to re- fix the aged transformer.
The management of Enugu Electricity Development Commission ( EEDC) kept making empty promises and showed no concern over the plight of the affected residents 8 months after. Even when a contractor contacted by one of the residents volunteered to replace the dead transformer and be paid in instalments by EEDC, the power distribution firm turned down the offer.
The socio- economic impact of living in a neighbourhood without public power supply continued to take a toll on the residents and businesses were forced to close shop. Food that could be preserved in refrigerators began to sour and go bad. The bitter experience was better imagined!
But, the attention of Senator Theodore Orji representing Abia Central to the ugly situation resolved the imbroglio. By December 2016 he sent a 500 KVA transformer to replace the dead one.
The State Government at that point approved another transformer for the area but yet to be released by the Ministry of Public Utilities. The senator’s transformer was installed by February 2017 but EEDC refused to energise it insisting that the residents must clear an alleged accumulated bill of N11.5 million.
After protests and petitions even threat for court actions, the EEDC bowed to the voice of reason and quickly began the processes of energising the new transformer. Work on the new transformer progressed at a snail speed but was eventually completed last week.
Residents of the affected streets are now full of joy and gratitude for Senator Orji for his intervention in ending their ordeals. Some of the residents who spoke with The AUTHORITY include: Elder Sunday Agbaeze, Chief Anthony Agbazuere, Mr. Ama Anaesoronye, and Harrison Ogbonnaya. They commended the senator for his intervention and tasked EEDC to sit up and deliver better services to electricity consumers in the state.
Transformer failure has assumed a disturbing dimension in Abia State. Findings revealed that over 30 electricity transformers had collapsed in Aba and Umuahia alone. This unfortunate situation has thrown a lot of streets in the state into darkness.