Zungeru Community in Niger State Plunged into Darkness for Over a Month

Taiwo Ajayi
3 Min Read

Residents of Zungeru community in the Wushishi Local Government Area of Niger State have been grappling with a blackout for more than one month, impacting daily life and study at the Niger State Polytechnic located in the area.

According to a computer science student at the institution, who spoke on Sunday, the power outage began on February 21 and has persisted since then, affecting both the community and the polytechnic.

“It started on February 21, when the electricity distribution company interrupted the light. It seemed like a familiar situation until several hours became days and weeks,” said the student, who requested anonymity.

“We have been living in darkness since then. The power supply company has not said anything. People and businesses are suffering.

“Wushishi does not have power, too. But some neighbouring communities do.

“We are still in session in school. This development has been impacting our studies negatively, and even the school has not said anything to keep us up to speed about what is being done to resolve the issue.”

The power outage has not only affected students but has also had a significant impact on the Muslim residents observing Ramadan in the community.

“For us, this is the most difficult Ramadan ever because we don’t have access to cold water to break our fasting in the evening,” the student added.

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“Petty traders have not been recording good patronage since Ramadan commenced. Usually, these traders would increase their drinking water stock every day and refrigerate it because of the Muslims, who like cold water to break their fast with every evening.

“Life on campus has been particularly boring and frustrating. We want the authorities to fix whatever is wrong with the power source serving our area. We are paying exorbitant fees to charge our devices.

“People are stranded, and things are difficult. Life in this town has been at a standstill for the past month.”

Zungeru is home to the 700 WM hydroelectric power facility known as the Zungeru Hydropower Project, built by the federal government with Chinese assistance on the upper and middle reaches of the Kaduna River in the state. The project is estimated to generate 2.64 billion KWh of electricity a year, meeting close to 10 percent of Nigeria’s total domestic energy needs.

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However, despite the presence of this project, the residents of Zungeru continue to suffer from a lack of access to reliable electricity, highlighting the challenges faced by many communities in Nigeria despite significant investments in power infrastructure.

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