By Toby Prince
Residents have reacted angrily to a persistent power blackout in Edo State which has lasted for almost 14 days.
The result was a water scarcity in parts of Benin City such as Upper Sokponba, Ihinmwin, Second East circular, Evbuotubu, Ugbowo and other areas.
Owners of boreholes using a generator to pump their boreholes have hiked the price of water.
It was gathered that 20 litres of jerrycan now cost N30 instead of N10 while 50 litres sells for N60 from previously N20.
Some business owners along Upper Sokponba said life have been difficult since the power outage began.
Mrs. Ifueko Osahon who operates a beauty saloon told our reporter that running her power generator for 15 hours daily has made business hard for her.
A barbing saloon operator, Mr. Stephen Uwen, said his business has been crumbled by BEDC.
“For close to a weak now, we have not seen any power supply. We have been in darkness for the past one week now. So, we are not finding it easy. As you can see, business are now paralyzed.
“In short, crime is now on the high rate. Those doing small businesses can no longer pay their bills. As I am talking to you now, even the generator I am using for my own personal work, is down.
“In my own residential area, like the New Benin/Upper Lawani area, there is no light. The same situation I am passing through at my working play, Uwa at 2nd East Circular Road. I am not happy at all”, he lamented.
Spokesman for the Bénin Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Tayo Adekunle, said the power outage experienced by some customers was caused by faulty power transformer.
Adekunle said the power firm is planning to connect affected customers to other power facilities pending when normal supply resume.
He said contractors have been engaged to begin work to connect the customers to other lines where there are power supply.
“We want to divert the load to areas that have light. You know, some of the facilities are aged and we are doing all that we can to fix them.
“The problem will be laid to rest within the week”, he said.