Kebba Jeffang reporting from Basse
Residents of Basse, the provincial capital of Upper River Region (URR), are experiencing inconsistent electricity supply which is also affecting every business and operation in the town, including public offices and private operators.
In a vox-pop conducted in the provincial town, Lamin Fatty, an NGO official, said the operation of the offices is almost at a standstill. He revealed that electricity is available for only 3 hours from 9am to 12pm during the working week i.e. from Monday to Friday. This, he added, is affecting their effectiveness at work as they cannot operate their computers for long.
“All the offices in Basse are facing extreme difficulties because in situations like this you can only rely on solar light system which cannot be afforded by all offices. Without electricity, there is no internet which is necessary in our work,” he lamented.
The owner of a barbing salon also expressed his frustration with the acute shortage of electricity. “How do they expect us, the young people, who have managed to be self employed, to do our work which requires electricity such as mine? How do they expect us to survive when there are no alternatives other than the ‘back way’ to Europe?” he further asked.
The barber explained how the lack of electricity is negatively impacting on his business as well as livelihood.
“This is really having a serious impact on my business and it is frustrating sometimes. It’s like all the doors are closed for self development,” he said.
Speaking to a civil servant in Basse under the condition of anonymity, he described the current system as a crisis. He said all the government departments in Basse are not effectively functioning.
“I can tell you that every sector, including the Health Center and Area Council are affected. In the working days, the health center like any other institutions will be supplied up to 12 noon. We are lucky that MRC is supplying the facility with electricity.” he said.
This reporter also observed non productivity of office workers around noon when the electricity supply went off during his visit to some places in Basse.