NamPower blames community for power outage

16 May 2014 11:20am
OPUWO, 16 MAY (NAMPA) – The three-day power failure experienced in Opuwo and surrounding villages from last Saturday was the result of the vandalisation of electricity lines by community members.
NamPower’s Manager for Marketing and Corporate Communications, Tangeni Kambangula said in an e-mailed statement to Nampa on Tuesday that the power interruption was due to the vandalism of 47 glass insulators on the Opuwo 66 kilovolt line.
“Thirty of the glass insulators were found damaged at Otjipahuriro, and 17 insulators at Omahukuzeva in the Omusati Region,” she explained.
Otjipahuriro is situated some 15 kilometres west of Ruacana, and Omahukuzeva lies 25 kilometres southwest of Ruacana.
The insulators were then replaced, and the line energised at 10h37 on Monday.
Kambangula justified the delay of energising the power line - which took them 37 hours and 37 minutes on rough terrain - saying the mountainous terrain made finding the fault along the length of the 110km line difficult, time-consuming and costly.
NamPower had to use the services of a helicopter for more than nine hours to try and trace the fault on the power line.
“Vandalism is a matter of extreme concern to NamPower, and we have attempted through various means to educate the population about protecting the national grid, and the dangers of tampering with our transmission lines.
Given the latest incident in the surrounding areas of Opuwo, it appears that we need to reinforce our efforts,” added Kambangula.
She said NamPower is proud of upholding its strategic objective of ensuring reliable power supply to the nation, and is extremely disappointed about this incident, which came about due to vandalism.