Poor Electricity,  Water Scarcity, Harsh Weather Aggravate Hardship for Anambra Residents

While the rest of the country is protesting about the economic hardship occasioned by rising cost of commodities, for residents of Anambra State, the hardship is further aggravated by poor electricity supply, water scarcity and the hotness of the weather, reports David-Chyddy Eleke

In Anambra, poor epileptic supply of electricity by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has remained a cause for concern to residents. Investigation by THISDAY has however shown that the poor distribution  has also come with its attendant problems, like shortage of water. With public water supply being a thing of the past in Anambra, families rely on boreholes drilled in their compounds for water supply. But with the low voltage  supplies by EEDC recently, many families now resort to commercial  water vendors for their supply.

While most parts of Anambra have remained in perpetual darkness, other parts that are privileged to witness power supply can only get low voltage that seems far too low to power their water sumos, or any other household appliances.

The high cost of fuel and gas, have also limited many commercial water sellers from engaging in the business, making it hard for families to access water for their use. In many instances, many water vendors no longer sell water, while the few who do, sell at very exorbitant prices for containers, and in most cases are usually far aware from the residences of those who need them.

For example, in Okpuno area of Awka, most residents who live in high rise buildings, but can not afford to pump water using their private boreholes, have to rely on public boreholes, most of which are in far away locations.

A resident, Mrs Rose Obasi said: “In all the 10 years I have stayed in Awka, I have never experienced this level of suffering. Almost throughout this term, my children have been going late to school. The reason is that they wake up and go to fetch water every morning, before they can come back and prepare for school, time has already gone.The stress they undergo to take water up to the third storey building where we stay is another work. We are really suffering, and I don’t know when this will come to an end.

Another resident of the area, Mrs Ifeoma Eke decried the impact of the current situation on women and children who are saddled with the responsibility of fetching water for household use.

“We now need to leave everything we have to do to go and look for water anywhere we see it. In many places, you buy it, one jerrican for 50 naira. You can imagine the impact of the stress on every family. The children are out looking for water when they are expected to get busy with their home works,” Eke bemoaned.

A final year student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Amara Chukwudi, was full of frustrations over the situation which had made them to spend unnecessarily searching for water.”I bathed this morning with sachet water. There was light and we could not find any means of pumping water in our hostel. Remember the price of petrol is equally unfriendly. Nigeria is fast becoming unhabitable”. 

A mother of three, Mariam Zaidu, also shared a discomforting tale about the water challenge.”More regrettably, this is happening at a time that heat is too much. My children could not sleep yesterday. At the same time, power supply had dropped drastically. We need urgent government intervention, honestly,” she concluded.

In Onitsha, the densely  populated commercial capital of Anambra State, electricity consumers have expressed worry over poor supply of electricity and called for withdrawal of licence from the power distribution firm, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).

Some of the consumer’s who spoke to THISDAY claimed that at this critical period of economic crisis where hyper inflation of goods and services was the order of the day, EEDC has contributed in diminishing their economic fortunes through unnecessary power outage for long hours.

Mr. Oseka Ifeajuna, a businessman who owns a cold room in Onitsha an interview disclosed that Nigeria does not want to grow as an economic giant because of selfish interests of owners of power distribution firms.

He reasoned that if the Federal Government under the then President, Goodluck Jonathan had considered some foreign electricity giants, poor electricity supply in Nigeria would have been a thing of the past.

He lamented that high cost of fuel has also contributed to downturn of his business as he has no other alternative to survive in his cold room business.

Mr. James Onyedika, a barber criticised both the Federal Government and power distribution company, EEDC for short changing Nigerians economically.

Onyedika said that the Federal Government and the EEDC were contributing to mass poverty in the country through their policies and actions.

He described the Federal Government and power distribution company as ” agents of darkness who don’t want like to exist in the country”.

He said that skilled youths are being suffocated in Nigeria under the present administration.

“This government is hypocritic. They don’t want poor people to survive in this country. How can you ask people to engage in one skill or the other, but at the end come up with one policy to cage the same people you pretend to be helping?”

He called for the withdrawal of the operating licence of EEDC, saying: ”It is highly unfortunate that a power distribution company managed by an Igbo man is contributing to poverty in the South East knowing that Igbos are industrious people who own several businesses and could be easily affected by poor supply of electricity.”

On one hand is the harsh weather condition recently unleashed upon the people. Though the hotness of the weather seems different from other years, but it is believed that the nonavailability of electricity has made it even worse.

A resident, Mr Bala Usman lamented that: “It is even worse that EEDC  is denying us electricity at this time when the weather is so hot. With the level of heat we are experiencing, and nonavailability of power, I’m afraid, we’re headed for the worst. Things have gone so bad, and we pray that this does not trigger a high level of emission of emotion from the people, especially with the current protest on hardship.”

Reacting to the poor power supply, the EEDC has insisted that it has the power to supply electricity in the entire South East zone, but stated that the supply of gas has been a major challenge.

In a press release by the spokesperson of the organisation, Mr Emeka Ezeh, EEDC said: “We wish to inform our esteemed customers that the current state of power supply within its network which has resulted in a drop in supply availability is due to low power generation caused by gas constraints to the thermal generating companies.

“This situation is beyond us, and this is not peculiar to EEDC. This development has resulted in low generation, leading to a reduction in the quantum of daily megawatt hour (MWH) of energy allocated to distribution companies nationwide.

“Consequently, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which is our primary source of power supply is constrained, as they only transmit what is generated and have resorted to System Load-shedding to forestall possible system collapse.

“This situation has equally impacted the quality of service to our customers, as we are contending with very low energy allocation wheeled to us by the TCN for distribution to our customers. A situation that has left us load-shedding available power to ensure it goes round.”

Meanwhile, as things stand, with the current rate of the dollar to Naira,  which has remained high, the procurement  of gas supply may remain high for a long time, and this will continually affect the allocation of power to EEDC, for onward distribution to end users, a d also affect the purchase of fuel by families to power their generators.


Some of the consumer’s who spoke to THISDAY claimed that at this critical period of economic crisis where hyper inflation of goods and services was the order of the day, EEDC has contributed in diminishing their economic fortunes through unnecessary power outage for long hours

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