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People in Yaounde, Cameroon are now resorting to generators for power, Aug 16, 2019. (Photo: Moki Kindzeka /VOA)

2-Week Power Outage Paralyzes Cameroon

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON VOA | Businesses, media and hospitals in Cameroon’s capital have been brought to a halt because of an unprecedented power failure that has gone on for nearly two weeks. The government has ordered the electric company, ENEO, to restore power within seven days but the company says it needs at least three months to repair equipment destroyed in a fire.

This loud noise from a standby generator is unusual in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde. But for the past two weeks, many locals have become familiar with it.

The power supply disappeared on August 4th, the day a fire ripped through the city’s main power station, destroying much of the equipment, and leaving more than one million people without electricity.

The government has ordered the electric company, ENEO, to restore power within seven days but the company says it needs at least three months to repair equipment destroyed in a fire.

Henry Ndaa, manager of Divine Finance, a bank in Yaounde, now relies on the generator to keep the lights on and computers running. But this source of power is unreliable, because at times fuel stations cannot supply enough gasoline to keep it going.

“We cannot adequately operate. We use the generator and it goes off and it is weighing negatively on us and our customers. Our members keep complaining,” he told VOA.

Fire-damaged electric company building is seen from the road in Yaounde, Cameroon, Aug. 16, 2019. (Photo: Moki Kindzeka / VOA)

The power outage has paralyzed businesses, crippled hospitals, affected the water supply and forced people to dispose of huge quantities of perishable goods. Radio and TV stations cannot have regular broadcasts.

Godlove Ndifontah, a researcher, says even the internet supply is no longer regular.

“It is horrible. I am on my machine always almost 24 on 24 [every day], preparing my projects and responding to mails from my partners. [Now] we have to go to where there are generators in order to pay 500 francs ($510) to charge your machine or to charge your phone per hour.”

At this business, the cashier is present but can not work without electricity in Yaounde, Cameroon, Aug 16, 2019. (Photo: Moki Kindzeka)
Cameroon’s minister of water and energy resources, Gaston Eloundou Essomba, says the government is taking steps to replace all of the damaged equipment and will import parts from abroad as needed.

Communication minister and government spokesperson Rene Emmanuel Sadi says power is being rationed, and urged people in neighborhoods without electricity to be patient.

“The government wishes to laud the patience, understanding and civic sense showcased by the inhabitants of the capital city. Instructions have been given to ENEO to provide a general calendar of the rationing of supply to the public of the city of Yaounde,” he said.

Authorities have not identified the cause of the August 4 fire, although they refuted newspaper reports of sabotage.

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21 comments

  1. Pendant que la fourmis travaillait, la cigale dansait.

    Le résultat est visible et palpable, le NÉANT.

    Le Cameroun est dans le néant

    • This is a british coirporation doing the job. That your master as you are claiming to be anglophone.
      Biya has nothing to do with this.

      • Mbappe,

        Happening in Britain or Cameroon ?

        Are you so mougou, dull, stupid, retarded and awkward ? where is your own task ?

        Un grand bébé voleur, assassin, violeur, truand, criminel de masse et génocidaire. Un vrai chop broke pot. You are not only unproductive. You are doomed to be a nullard. Where are the children you trained to handle electricity on your own land ?

        Where is your responsibility ?

      • Yet this Beti-Bulu gorilla monkey crosses think they can explore space without power. Ah Ah?! What are their dull yam heads made of? Can’t even drink clean water or drive on good roads yet they want to go to space as this Bulu Bastard @Mbappe is defending madness.

  2. All jokes aside, it seems ridiculous that any reasonable society should avail itself of modern equipments, yet be so totally clueless about the culture of routine maintenance!!!!
    If appropriately trained technicians were assigned the task of managing such important energy systems, they would know the rationale of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly maintenance during which predictions could be made about their possible life times and convenient replacements of worn out portions to guarantee problem-free operation.

    Did “hautes instructions de la hierarchies” forget?????????

  3. When Yaounde is breathing,Cameroon if fine.How can a capital city be plunged in darkness for two weels and more?Is Yaounde breathing? Is Cameroon fine?

    • When Yaounde is breathing ,Cameroon is fine.How can a country’s capital be plunged into darkness for two weeks and more?Is Yaounde breathing? Is Cameroon fine?

  4. @mbappe kikikikiki. See your clans men. The basement of society. Le bulu ke osu.kikikiki.

    • I feel so sorry for ur ass.
      This is british company and you guys are kids of that kingdom.
      Where is the problem or now you are going to blame Biya?
      idiot

  5. First bring electricity. Then return murderous soldiers to their barracks. Then rebuild the burnt schools and homes. Then free the imprisoned children and their parents.
    Then ask for school resumption.

  6. The country will continue to downhill until those thieving ministers and their supreme master are evicted. In a civilised society, the electricity company would be held to account, court proceedings will pile and businesses will be compensated. Accidents occur, whatever caused this drama, but such problems would be avoided with count measures in place to push back ugly times like this.

    LRC reacts to problems instead of being proactive in preventing them from happening in the first place. The Anglophone crisis was dangling on a line for decades. No one did anything about it. Now that shove has come to push, the reaction is a government waging war on its ‘people’. It can’t all be right all the time, but when you’re caught unaware all the time, then something is seriously wrong somewhere.

  7. Dictator promised that his LRC MUST emerge by 2035.

    Members of the CPDM, including renowned economics Professors, started singing the emergence2035 song. No one cared to challenge the emergence2035 LIE.
    The truth of the matter is that all economic indicators point to the fact that LRC can NEVER EVER emerge by 2099 let alone by 2035.

    Even a baby in kindergarten knows that electricity is very important to the economic development of every nation. However, the leaders of LRC do not understand this statement of fact. They refuse to harness the ENORMOUS electric potential of the Menchum falls and they even destroyed the functional YOKE electricity plant because of their hidden annexation agenda. Their evil agenda has now come back to haunt them.

    ZERO EMERGENCE BY 2099 LET ALONE BY 2035.

  8. `Change, will see the light of day in Cameroon, only when Mr. Biya, is dead and gone`.
    He is, an epitome of darkness.

    • People in biya’s Family live till 100.
      You might not see his death.
      You might go before him.

      • @Mbappe, mine is a statement, not a question for you to answer.
        You are all epitomes of darkness, irrespective of where you are
        or how much you feel that you know.

        • You got scared of death?
          You are really a small man.
          Wishing someone death is actually defining you as a small man.
          The system is the issue not the individual Biya and that is what you morons do not get.

  9. @ Mbappe stop this your bull. Biya is the problem. This half cast left by the French colonialists has no love for our nation. If Cameroonians had any balls, they would be on the streets like the people of Hong Kong. We are talking here of the 21st century. A capital has no electricity for 2 weeks in the 21st century and you are here blaming the British people instead of getting rid of the evil man that calls himself president who is prepared to destroy Cameroon to the point of uselessness before he dies. You should be ashame of yourself Mpappe. Nobody I mean nobody in their right senses can support a dictator who has been in power for over 30 years with nothing to show for. Why can’t you reason like the other civilized Bulus who are condemning this evil man?

    • This is what baffles me the most about these Bulus. In this life, I would never support my mother, father and siblings when they do wrong. I will never support an Anglophone who ascends to power and doesn’t put the interest of the people before his own. I will never support anyone, regardless of where you are in my bloodline if you spend 40000 dollars as the president of my country per day in a luxury hotel in Switzerland for months on end. Presidents set examples. Look at Rwanda with a strong president who puts the interest of the country first, within a few decades after the Rwandan genocide the Rwanda is far better off than ‘peaceful’ and corrupt Cameroon. A president is accountable for all that which is positive and negative in a country. Biya is an ugly blot in Cameroon history!

  10. Amba is free. This terrible union will not and cannot work

  11. These Gorillas are trying to bring light in an environment they are not use to..Let these Thieves abandon politics and go back to the forest..All they can do is eat, broke pot or do hunting in the forest…
    If the electric company is from the UK and is not doing a good job, who should be blamed?..The UK or Biya?..What a foolish statement to say there is failure because the company is british..Gorillas live for many years, so its not a surprise if the chief Gorilla Biya lives for 100 years..
    With his chop broke pot mentality, nothing will change or happen …To clean cameroon from this cancer, take away politics from this retarded chop broke pot BULU-BETI bikutsi alcoholics and the country will grow , we will get back normal life and cameroon will be a great nation..

  12. ngobayoi ngohele

    CAMEROONIANS HAVE TO GET UP FROM ( SITTING IN BUREAU HABIT) .

    ENGINEERS ARE TO ENGINE UP THE ENGINS. TECHNICIANS ARE TO MAINTAIN THE TECHNIQUES IN TNE APPLIANCES. NO EVENTUALITIES REALY OCCUR TO BREAK DOWN THOSE ENGINES . SIMPLY THERE WAS NO FOLLOW UP AND NO MAINTAINENCE . HERE ENEO AND ITS WORKERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE YAOUNDE BLACKOUT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
    THE GENERAL MANAGER HIMSELF TOO SHOULD BE DISMISSED ALONG WITH HIS TEAM .

    RECRUIT A NEW TEAM LIKE THOSE INCHARGE OF THE ONGOING REPAIR .

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