Tanesco calms fears over damaged facilities

TANZANIA Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) has allayed fears that damage caused to some of its infrastructure by hostile weather will spell unreliable power supply.

Its Kilimanjaro Regional Manager, Engineer Mahawa Mkaka, said here yesterday that, the utility firm has put in place a competent team to ensure that customers get quality, 24-hour power service around the clock.

The reassurance has been prompted by anxiety that damage caused by rain, wind and flooding in the wake of the rain season may occasion misery and doom. Eng Mkaka called on customers to furnish Tanesco authorities with information on impairment of infrastructure, to facilitate swift responses, to ensure that they enjoy the critical service for which they were paying.

He said within one week alone, more than 10 electricity poles along the main supply line were felled, but they were restored by a special regional emergency team, and disrupted power supply was restored.

Heavy rain has damaged power infrastructure, as it is associated with powerful winds that lead to trees or their branches falling on poles or electric wires, and consequently disrupting power supply. However, our standby emergency team has been offering prompt, efficient service, he said.

The senior Tanesco official advised members of the public to take precautionary measures that include keeping a safe distance from power infrastructure such as transformers, and avoiding to conduct activities like trade under high-tension wires. He also advised them against tampering with sensitive items lying on the ground.

The Regional Public Relations Officer, Mr Samwel Mandari, said one of the major challenges the company faced was poor roads in the countryside, which hampered easy movement whenever its technical staff went there to conduct maintenance work or to respond to emergencies.

Meanwhile, ABBY NKUNGU reports from Singida that the power utility firm has suspended its services to three government departments and forced two others to sign a special agreement over failure to settle outstanding monthly bills to the tune of over 741.5m/-.

The Tanesco Regional Manager, Eng Gamba Maugira, named the departments as the Police Force, Prisons and the Singida Municipal Council.

He said that the original bill for the Police Force was over 148. 8m/- but currently stood at 146. 9m/- after paying 1.9m/, while the municipal councils debt is 8.3m/-, after paying 5.7m/-. Prisons debts stands at 6.3m/- .

Eng Maugira further explained that the Singida Urban Water and Sanitation Authority (SUWASA) whose outstanding bill was more than 520m/- , had reduced it to 473m/- after paying 47m/-.

Eng Gamba Maugira explained however that services to SUWASA had not been suspended, but instead, they had entered into a special agreement under which they would pay 20m/- per month until the debt was offset, and simultaneously paying their monthly bills.

He explained that the Singida Regional hospitals debt stood at 17m/- , but Tanesco hadnt suspended power supply, because the management had demonstrated a sincere commitment to clear the debt.

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