The power outage of over 21days in Ifite-Awka, Anambra state and some other parts of the state has indeed become a cause for worry as it has implications for learning and other businesses within the affected areas.
Ifite-Awka, Anambra state is the home of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, which is, of course, affected by the power outage. This has in so many ways affected the university community, including the businessmen and women, the students and the staffs of the institution.
It is being argued that students who live off campus are the ones who are worst affected, more so because of the hot weather, which they are unable to mitigate as there is no electricity to power their fans.
Nwana Adanna, a 300 level student of mass communication said that the lack of power in her hostel off campus, coupled with the hot weather, has made reading a difficult task as she is unable to read at night due to the in-conducive environment. Thus, she would sleep, leaving her studies. she also told us that during lectures, listening is a challenge. instead of listening to the lecturer, she fans herself and tries to find comfort amidst so much discomfort. “No one learns in an unconducive environment,” she said.
Anthony Odinaka, a final year student of computer science who also lives off campus expressed his displeasure with the power sector saying, ‘I spend five hundred or even more each night to buy fuel because I need to charge up my gadgets and, also as a final year student, write my project.
“I need to be online often and this is taking a toll on my feeding money. If there was light it wouldn’t be so.”
But students living in the school-run accommodation facilities hardly feel the impact of the outage as the university finds an alternative power source for them.
Nneoma Okonkwo, who lives in one of the school hostels, Elmada, said that the power outage has no effect on her. The hostel management turns on the generating set from 7 pm to 10 pm or more on a daily basis and at this time students are back from school and will utilize the power for different purposes.
Lecturers of the institution are also not left out of the effects of the outage as it is affecting the teaching work.
Mrs Onyenukwe of the department of mass communication, speaking to us, said the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, should be up to their responsibility. She complained that the power situation has had an effect on her teaching and research work.
Madam Amaka, who sells snacks and cold drinks in the school premises complained her business has suffered due to the electricity problem. After spending so much to buy her goods, she said, she would still need to “buy iced blocks to cool her drinks, which are not totally sold because students would still complain.”
She also recounted the number of times her soya bean drink had gone sour even after finding alternative means to cool it.
Isaac Ibeauchi, who does printing work said that the issue on ground has caused him to purchase fuel regularly to be able to do his work so as not to run out of business.
According to the dean, students’ affairs of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Stan Udeadi in a telephone interview, “the university is making frantic effort to address the power outage issue. The Vice-Chancellor has personally visited the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company’s office in Awka (EEDC) over the power issue who in turn promised to find a lasting solution to the problem. However, the Ifite axis is an integral part of the discourse.”
In reaction to the recent power issue, the network manager of Awka district Mr Samuel Onuoha said the issue was one which was never wished for especially for the customers although it was beyond them.
The problem, he said was from the transmission end. He said efforts to fix certain bad equipment had been abortive.
In addition, he said that this period is also a bad one for them as a lot of money was lost and most time was spent in appealing to customers and trying to make them understand.
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