Monday, June 17, 2024

Utility tower theft left eastern part of Addis in the dark


The Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) announced that the theft of the electric transmission tower at the eastern part of Addis Ababa is the first of its kind that happened in the city.
On June 24 the 132 kilo volt power transmission tower located around Bole Lemi Industry Park was damaged by individuals who then stole part of the tower.
The incident affected the power supply at the industry park and surrounding areas of Addis Ababa for days.
Moges Mekonnen, Public Relation Head at EEP, said that such kind of theft particularly in the capital city is new.
“Meanwhile the robbery affects very limited part of the city the damage is very huge that cost big amount for those who depend on it,” Moges said.
According to the Public Relation Head, the power transmission line theft usually happen mainly in southern part of the country like Wolaita, Gamo Gofa and Sidama zones, while the current incident is very rare for cities.
“Our towers are stretched all over the country and passes through forests and mountains and mainly the bandits’ focus on the towers located in remote areas,” he added.
He told Capital because of the theft at Bole Lemi the conductor is damaged and the loss is estimated to be about half a million birr.
“The power supplied to the industry park, which is mainly engaged on the production of textile for export, is significant but the details will be disclosed by Ethiopian Electric Utility, which is responsible to administer the power distribution,” he added.
According to the statement EEP disclosed on its social media on June 24 besides the industry park, Summit Condo compound, Bole Arabsa, Airlines Association residential area, Goro, ICT Park, Gerji Wore Genu, and Gerji Kazanches were affected.
EEP’s Transmission and Substation Operation Division technicians have been in duty to maintain the damage until we went to print on Saturday afternoon. Moges said that the line is expected to commence operation by Sunday June 28.
He reminded that EEP, which is so far the sole power generator and distributors, was under preparation to organize a symposium with relevant organizations and government entities of law enforcement to tackle the theft problem, but the current COVID 19 incident suspended the plan.

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