Home » Electricity in the capital of the Sao country, a very rare commodity ~ The thermometer

Electricity in the capital of the Sao country, a very rare commodity ~ The thermometer

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Electricity in the capital of the Sao country, a very rare commodity ~ The thermometer

Electricity plays a crucial role in the development of society, but access to it remains largely insufficient in the daily life of Chadians and in particular that of the inhabitants of N’Djamena. Homes and businesses face enormous difficulties due to frequent power supply interruptions. Lack of power is one of the main causes of micro-enterprise bankruptcies, contributing to the rising cost of living and high unemployment rates in the region.

Setbacks and groans of the people of N’djaménois

Day and night, N’djam purrs and buzzes. The roar of old generator engines gives the impression that the capital is an active city, in full activity and perpetual change. Indeed, these noises express the lamentations, groans and grumblings of the N’djaménois who, in addition to the cost of living and a abject poverty, must agree to plunge their heads into an inky night. It is in this hostile environment for business that Mrs. Cathérine Maïpa, director of a welding workshop in the 6th District of the capital, tells us about her difficulties. “My team and I keep watch in the workshop to wait for the electricity to arrive in order to carry out the major works. During the day, the SNE (National Electricity Company) cuts off our electricity flow and we manage all day with a small diesel generator which cannot cover all our activities.” The scarcity of electricity impacts the prices of several items including ice cream bars, yogurts, calorific drinks, photocopies, etc. As if this cut is not enough, we must add the fuel shortage (petrol and diesel) and sometimes that of combustible gases. Youssouf Abdallah, a shopkeeper from Chagoua in the 7th Arrondissement, gets excited and shouts in these terms: “How can we develop without electrical energy? How can we make a profit when our dairy products break down in freezers and we have to spend another sum of money on a generator? “. Rebecca Lekouanodji, the owner of a bistro on Avenue “Mathias Ngartery”, complains and says she’s fed up: “We can’t take it anymore. If this power outage persists, I risk closing my establishment for lack of profits and waiting for my death! “. When I heard the words of this young woman, my heart bled. Through the struggles of these small entrepreneurs, we must see those of the entire city and beyond that of an entire people. The State must quickly think about relieving the populations in the face of this energy crisis.

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Broken promises

The people of N’djaménois have been plunged into gloomy darkness lately! From Déby 1st (father) to Déby II (Mahamat Idriss Déby), the promises to (finally) unspell the land of the Itno, if not to a lesser extent the capital of old demons who keep it in darkness, have been nothing but wind. After three decades at the helm, the Marshal Idriss Déby Itno (MIDI), during each presidential campaign, presents to the populations an attractive program, well concocted and loaded with very good initiatives. All his projects revolved around Potable water access et al‘electricity Passing by asphalting of roads, the erection of universities, schools, high schools, modern hospitals, etc. throughout the territory. As soon as he turned his back on the people, set foot again in his sumptuous palace on the banks of the Chari river, the immovable and unremovable demigod MIDI immersed himself there and drowned the piles of promises made to his fellow citizens! Don’t we say that in politics, promises only bind those who believe in them? The complaints, the lamentations, the supplications of his electorate have never been heard!

The road linking N’djamena to Kousseri (Cameroon) at 7 p.m. Photo credit: Veivra ID Noel

Like father, like son

Barely inducted President of a transition whose counter is reset to zero after the Inclusive and Sovereign National Dialogue (boycotted by a large part of the opposition), the General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, son of President MIDI, pretending to pull out all the stops, is following in the footsteps of his predecessor perfectly. In record time, the very young prince, invested as “king”, travels through all the provinces of the country where he sows everywhere the same promises made several years ago by his late father. The brand new “captain” promised after his inauguration to bring the capital out of the dark nights by tripling energy production capacities by 2023. A bet that his energy minister was unable to honor. Exasperated by this failure, the supplications and prayers of the N’djaménois, the Transitional President notes the director of the National Electricity Company (SNE) from his functions and replaces him with a senior army officer. Part of the population had believed for a moment that this man in khaki would use his military status in order to establish order and put an end to these untimely power cuts. Extremely serious error of assessment because the power outages remain interminable. Many districts are completely, for several days in a row, plunged into darkness at nightfall. There social grumbling continues to grow. The very young tenant of the pink palace would be embarrassed by the lamentations of his people. Thus, as if to grant the prayers of the N’djaménois, the Transitional President arrives Mr. Djérassem Le BémadjielMinister of Hydrocarbons and Energy and entrusts the keys of the said department to Madame Ndolonodji Alexi. The population is questioning the merits of this dismissal because Déby II, like Déby I, would have missed the centers of the evils which are corrupting, deteriorating and disintegrating the socio-economic fabric of the country. The end of the ordeal in energy needs is not for tomorrow.

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A glimmer of hope or yet another deception

It is completely absurd to want to explain the non-electrification of the city of N’djamena and its surroundings because the country of the Itno (32 years in power, please!) is a member of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). How can we understand that a country producing and exporting black gold is in the dark from dusk? To wash his face after such a longevity in power and to restore hope of positive change to the population of the capital, the Transitional President has just launched a gigantic construction project of two solar power plants in N’djamena. These two mammoth projects will generate 65,000 MWh of electricity per year, supplying more than 260,000 residents. Despite these ambitious projects in progress, most of the population of N’djamena is skeptical about energy independence.

A photovoltaic power plant. Photo credit: Iwaria

Electricity is an essential and fundamental element for the socio-economic development of the population. In industrial cities, a power outage for a “small” second causes considerable material and economic damage.

While waiting for these enlightened nights, N’djam must implore the heavens so that these life-saving projects are not yet another mirage, a white elephant because with the Chadian authorities one must always expect an unpleasant surprise.

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