The current blackout situation in Southwest.
For more 10 days and nights the South West region of Cameroon has been witnessing unstable power supply. From the look of things, the situation threatens to extend to an uncertain time.
Businesses whose existence rely on electricity have temporally shut down, making life hard for their owners. A petit barber who owns a shop in Molyko cries of not being sure of paying his rents for March since he hasn’t worked the whole month.
The unusual darkness sends Buea inhabitants to their beds as early as 8 pm. The phones, laptops, chargers, tv and musical sets that used to keep people busy and entertained have all gone quiet. The noisy streets have turned to graveyards while shop keepers/owners pray for electricity to be restored.
Grinding and sawmills, barbershops, radio and tv houses etc cannot function to full capacity anymore.
To charge electronics have become a problem in Buea. Owners walk with charger and gadgets in their bags and hunt for where there is electricity. For the few times power comes, it stays just for few hours or minutes and goes back.
Why the blackout in the southwest?
According to the lone electricity supplier in Cameroon, ENEO, the whole system is under repairs and maintenance. So, cities in the region may not have constant electricity supply for some time.
However, the company released a timetable for electricity rationing in the various cities affected.
Despite the timetable for power rationing presented by ENEO, things have still not gone as planned. The rationing doesn’t follow the timetable.
Those with generators can say they are somehow handling the situation but not as comfortably as it would be if there was the power supply.
We hope things will be better after the repairs.
How Silicon Mountaineers work despite the blackout
Coming to the Silicon Mountain community, work is lively and going on smoothly. Some techies, companies and startups can still meet up with deadlines and complete some of their tasks. Being a community of members whose work rely 100% on electricity, the unstable power supply would have been a heavy punch on their chest. As oxygen is important to the life of human beings, so is electricity to the existence and success of techies, tech startups, tech companies and programmers.
Have you bothered to ask why erratic power supply is not affecting Silicon Mountaineers?
The French Ambassador to Cameroon, H.E Christophe Gilhou together with other French Businessmen in Cameroon donated two power generators to the Silicon Mountain community. These have been serving the Community since the blackout in Buea. Much thanks to the initiators of this idea.
The generators have met the SM community at its point of need. Recently, the two hubs have become working places for some community members who come to benefit from the power the gens produce.
At ActivSpaces, community members come in at 8 A.M and retire at 6 P.M to save fuel for the next day. This has gone on for more than a week and will remain so until the full supply of power is guaranteed. Here are reactions from community members concerning the power outage vis-a-vis the donation of the generators.
Reactions from SM community members
With the epileptic light outs in my town, my colleagues and I still get to complete our tasks uninterruptedly.
All thanks to the timely gift of the generator donated to the Silicon Mountain Community.
The gen is a lifesaver! I barely feel the impact of the power outage at work (but for the overcrowded space, which is bearable). We can go about our daily activities normally and it’s pretty encouraging.
The generators came in at the right time when we, students from the ActivSpaces Academy and other higher-tech institutes needed a steady power supply to keep up with the online race on applying for GSOC (Google summer of code). We are required to stay online to keep contact with mentors and tech organisations in order for us to be accepted into the GSOC20 program. So far, the generators have acted as a career saver to us, junior developers because we can stay online and available even with the power failure around the region. Thanks a lot for the generator Mr Ambassador.
As a software developer constant power is essential for me to do my job, learn and acquire new skills, when there is a blackout its like my world is ended ,I feel jobless, especially when you used to work 8-16hours a day to build software and solve real life problems. The recent blackouts have made life difficult for me, fortunately with the generator available at Activspaces and open to community members I’ve been able to work and carry out my daily tasks to some extent.
With these, we are sure to reach our targets of building companies that put Cameroon and Africa on the tech map. The Silicon Mountain Community is known for having members who work so hard to solve real-life problems.