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Danger as Tanesco runs short of poles

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by BAK, May 14, 2009.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    May 14, 2009
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    Danger as Tanesco runs short of poles

    14th May 2009

    Rotten poles are a common sight nowadays in a number of places where power lines pass, posing a serious danger to local residents and passers-by.The Tanzania Electric Supply Company Ltd (Tanesco) is facing an acute shortage of electricity poles, putting at serious risk many people’s lives.

    A month-long survey by this paper in Dar es Salaam shows that the giant state-run power firm has been grappling with the problem for at least two months.

    A Tanesco customer hinted this paper on the issue after discovering that ants had eaten right into the middle of the pole installed at his residence at Wazo Hill, Dar es Salaam.
    The pole, which serves six households, could fall over any time now and therefore needs emergency replacement.

    “I alerted Tanesco’s Kinondoni North offices near TMJ Hospital at Msasani on the issue about a month ago and was issued with ‘reporting number’ TB 9006248 and asked to call 022-2700367 or 0784768584 (Emergencies) if things got worse.

    However, as I speak, the situation remains as it was when I contacted them (Tanesco),” explained the source, visibly disappointed and apprehensive.

    “I have contacted the company’s Msasani offices again several times since my last visit there, but to no avail, only empty promises.

    Neither has intervention by a neighbour who is a Tanesco employee helped; they confided to him that the company is short of poles, that it is a national problem and that there is nothing they can do to help me,” he added.

    The Guardian visited the source’s residence on Tuesday morning and confirmed that the middle portion of the pole in question has rotted away.

    It remains in place only because it is supported by cables supplying power to the six residences, and could snap any moment.

    Tanesco North Regional Manager Makoye N’gerere confirmed about the shortage when contacted yesterday. But he was short on details, only stating that it was indeed a national problem.

    “What I can say for now is that the shortage of electricity poles is not peculiar to our company’s Kinondoni North Region; rather, it is a national problem. Therefore, I would advise you to contact our headquarters for more comprehensive details,” he told our reporter.

    However, efforts to get the Tanesco headquarters to comment on the matter have failed.

    For about two weeks now, senior managers contacted either in person or by telephone have been uncharacteristically uncooperative.

    The whereabouts of managing director Dr Idris Rashid and communications manager Badra Masoud remained a mystery to our reporters, who spent most of yesterday at the firm’s head offices at Ubungo.

    Bashir Mrindoko, Commissioner for Energy in the Energy and Minerals ministry, meanwhile said when reached for comment that it was “very surprising” hearing that the company was facing a shortage of electricity poles.

    “Tanesco is supposed to handle such matters itself… The reports are very surprising, though.

    If they think things are too complicated for them to handle without help, they know that they can always approach the ministry for assistance,” said the commissioner on telephone.

    The power firm reported in December 2007 that it was facing an acute shortage of electricity poles, forcing it to import wooden ones from South Africa.

    Dr Rashid was quoted as saying they usually depended on poles from Iringa Region but most of these were now being exported to Kenya and Sudan and the few left were not enough for Tanesco’s needs. It is not clear whether this is still the scenario.

    Tanesco has often depended on wooden electric poles for supplying power in the country, with metal pylons being used to carry high tension power lines.

    The local price of wooden poles shot up soon after the government hiked levies on forest products in the 2007/2008 budget. According to the Tanesco MD, the price for a single wooden pole then stood at 268,000/-, up from 90,000/- in 2004.

  2. Next Level

    Next Level JF-Expert Member

    May 14, 2009
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    Mjasiriamali Malila na mkuu Mbu with you 10m mpo hapo?
  3. M

    Malila JF-Expert Member

    May 15, 2009
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    Nimeisoma hiyo mkuu, hawa jamaa toka Kenya wanasomba nguvu zetu kule Iringa kama hawana akili vizuri,sisi tunapiga story na Tanesco yetu. Yale manguzo yaliyokatwa Lupembe maelfu kwa maelfu yanaishia Kenya.

    Kibaya zaidi hawa jamaa,licha ya kununua nguzo zetu,pia wanapanda kwa bidii sana miti hiyo. Mda mfupi ujao tutaanza kununua nguzo toka kenya zilizovunwa toka Iringa.
  4. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    May 15, 2009
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    Tanesco: Give Safety Priority

    15th May 2009

    It is a shock to hear that Tanesco does not have electricity poles.

    Whatever the reason for this, the predicament puts the wananchi in immense danger, due to the fact that electricity is a dangerous item once mishandled.

    We have personally witnessed, not once but several times over, Tanesco cautioning us not to touch any electricity wire that is loose, has been neglected or is lying on the ground.

    It is rather surprising that the same organisation now tells us that it has no electricity poles in stock at a time when in many residential areas, electricity poles are in danger of falling, and, in some places, have already fallen down.

    The whole situation thus amounts to death announcements.
    A Tanesco customer who contacted this newspaper said that ants had eaten right into a pole situated in his residence in Dar es Salaam, and, upon alerting the Tanesco authorities, was issued with a reporting number, but Tanesco has not been able to address the problem for more than a month now since it was reported.

    We are left to wonder how Tanesco fails to have an answer to this problem in this age when there are alternatives for safe transmission and storage of electricity.

    We are led to believe that Tanesco is already working around the clock to solve this problem in an urgent manner, short of which is putting people's lives at ransom.

    It is common knowledge that touching an electricity cable that is not properly installed amounts to inviting death.

    When we contacted the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, the relevant authority expressed surprise that the public utility company was facing a shortage of electricity poles.
    This is rather strange.

    The whole scenario reflects the fact that there is a certain degree of negligence in communication that further compounds the problem.

    In December 2007, Tanesco reported that it was facing an acute shortage of electricity poles, forcing it to import wooden ones from South Africa.

    The Tanesco MD was quoted as saying that they usually depended on poles supply from Iringa Region, but these were mainly exported to Kenya and Sudan.

    Apart from that, the local price of wooden poles has shot up from 90,000/- in 2004 per pole to 268,000/-.

    It is possible that the country's lopsided policy concerning the utilization of its comparative advantage in regard to its abundant natural resources could have a role in the difficulties that Tanesco is grappling with, and these are now being passed over to consumers.

    The irony of hiking the prices of your own products that are needed to make the life of the population easier so that your neighbours benefit more than you do signifies a total lack of priorities and the primacy of commerce over proper planning and public interest.

    In a way, the government should also admit its responsibility on the prevailing situation.

    On the other hand, Tanesco is an autonomous public utility company. The management has a free hand in budgeting and setting its priorities.

    For that reason, we advise that Tanesco takes immediate steps to ensure that the security of the people is not compromised. This issue is indeed too serious to warrant any further debate.