Monday, September 21, 2015

Power blues continues to haunt business services in Dar

 Business activities and other office services have paralyzed in most parts of Dar es Salaam city suburbs due to erratic power supply which has overshadowed the nation since last week, the survey can establish Going on its second week now, the situation has come about following the switching off of a gas plant at Kinyerezi project I that produces electricity from Songo Songo gas project in Mtwara region. The gas plant had been switched off over a week ago by a sole National Power Utility Firm (TANESCO) in order to allow the test of a gas pipeline from Mtwara which has already reached its final destination point at Kinyerezi on the outskirts of the Dar es Salaam city. The Tanesco’s Managing Director Felchesm Mramba assured Tanzanians who for long have been anxiously waiting for the plant project to start operation to be patient as gas has already started to enter into a plant together with that one at Ubungo II . He noted that what Tanesco is currently doing is to do the test to connect main gas pipeline with that of Ubungo II and Symbion electricity plant to ensure an effective supply of the electricity which is to be produced at a designated plant project. The exercise that has caused power rationing for a 12 hour everyday was anticipated to end on Monday this week, but to the surprise of many it has been prolonged causing blackouts an aspect that is slowing down industrial production operations.  The trend has adversely affected operators’ incomes and offices which operate in mostly affected areas by power blues, have to halt their activities to a considerable length of time until the electricity power supply from the national grid comes back. The situation has caused   congestion of work load in some private and government offices whose activities are mostly driven by computer systems applications that help keep going their activities. In order to keep abreast with the normal daily productions, some big organizations, companies and some individual business enterprises resort to the use of mostly diesel machine generators or solar energy for power supply to keep their businesses going.  

A round survey by the Citizen newspaper at the city centre could witness sounds of standby generators which have been put outside in almost business entities which are strategically located along the street. The prevailing situation has caused charges for business services such as internet surfing and secretarial services such as printing costs and others to increase considerably. Internet café owners operating in some suburbs on the outskirts of the city of Dar es Salaam have said that, “they have to increase surfing charges to cater for the extra costs incurred through using generators during power blackouts. Mr. Thomas Kigu an attendant of the sun-rise internet café operating at Kijitonyama said in an interview with this paper that, they have to raise surfing charges due to high expenses they incur to run a machine for power generation emanating from the costs of oil. According to him, charges for surfing which normally stands at Tshs. 1,000/- has increased by 50 percent to Tshs. 1,500/- per hour. However, he added that, but when there is normal power supply from the national grid, the prices comes down to normal. Another business man Mr. Obadia Bulemo, a resident of Tegeta suburb in Kinondoni district is among the many petty traders whose business is adversely affected by power blues. He runs a secretarial bureau office which operates in a rented house but his principal business place is often inconvenienced by power rationing in the area during day time an aspect that results into a low profit levels at the end of the day. Apart from businessmen, office workers are also worried about the compelling problems which include poor telephone services on fixed landlines, says one office attendant of a clearing and forwarding agent whose company’s fixed telephones remains unworkable during power blackouts. A typical case study of the power blackout situation happened at a one family in Kipunguni “B” suburb in Ilala district when they had gathered in the evening at their sitting room watching a television broadcast interested in following up campaign rallies going on in various parts in the country, but suddenly power went off.
Distraught and anger reigned among them as their television stopped thereby disrupting a luxurious moment they had of watching the up-coming news bulletin.

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