Power outage continues to blight Plateau communities as new transformer remains uninstalled
By Bulmun Dakwal
Over the years, communities in Riyom ward in Riyom Barkin Ladi Federal Constituency, Plateau State, have been plagued by poor electric supply, leaving residents to suffer untold hardship.
To address the issue, Hon. Simon Mwatkon, a member of the federal house of representatives, facilitated the provision of a 33kva 200wts transformer for the communities in 2022. The sum of N8 million was budgeted for the project, and was assigned to the National Commission for Refugees (NCR) for implementation under the supervision of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
The transformer was provided and kept within the premises of COCIN Academy, a school in Riyom, but was never installed or put to use.
Emmanuel Deng, Crown Prince of Riyom community, said the power issue had a negative toll on residents and businesses in the area.
“Schools, churches, health care clinics and all other government and private businesses that make use of the light suffer in its absence. Most of the time we either have to go to Farin Lamba or Vom which are the neighbouring communities to have access to light which is about 3 - 4 kilometers away,” he said. Mr Deng revealed that the new transformer
“When we reached out to the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (DISCO) to fix the new transformer that was provided, they said it was too heavy and some work had to be put in place before it can be fixed and since then we have not heard from them".
According to Asabe Francis, who runs a pharmacy in the community, the poor electricity issue had caused businesses to suffer.
“The supply of light is very discouraging, sometimes we spend two weeks, three weeks or even over three months without light, our businesses can not run as expected without light, like the vaccines I have in the fridge, they are at home because when there is no light I use my generator to power it and when I can not get fuel, I have to take it to the community coldroom which was provided by the government," she said.
Emmanuel Danjuma, a member of the community’s electricity committee said that the capacity of the transformer exceeded the community, and thus forestalled its installation.
“The transformer that was bought is 33 KVA 200 Watts, which is too heavy for the community. We had a meeting with the community members and agreed to have a swap with another transformer, but we are yet to hear from him (the chairman)," he said.