RUNDU – Namibia’s power utility NamPower has appealed to members of the public to safeguard powerlines and facilities by jealously guarding the infrastructure at all times in the wake of two recent vandalism cases in which vandals damaged its Zambezi Link 350kV HVDC line in Zambezi region.
The power utility is encouraging members of the public to be vigilant and to speak out against vandalism of national infrastructure, and to report any suspicious activity to the police station. It added that vandalism affects the security of electricity supply and the interruption of much-needed services, depriving citizens of essential services and resulting in unplanned outages and expenses.
“When vandals damaged infrastructure that forms part of the line, the damage resulted in the reduced security of electricity supply and affected the telecommunication services that NamPower supplies to various customers,” stated the power utility’s spokesperson, Tangeni Kambangula.
The Zambezi HVDC line, which was recently damaged twice by vandals, forms an integrated part of NamPower’s infrastructure aimed at ensuring the security of supply.
NamPower, through its service offering The GridOnline, offers spare fibre capacity on its network, such as the HVDC line, to licensed telecommunication service providers. The outage affected several NamPower operations and customers such as Telecom Namibia and MTC as well as the International WACS that is channelled through this fibre optic network.
“It took NamPower a couple of days to repair the damage at a cost of approximately N$200 000,” Kambangula noted.
Kambangula emphasised the public should know that most of the components of its infrastructure have no value in the market; thus, the public is reminded that the infrastructure is critical to the operations and management of the national power system – and by extension, the provision of services to the Namibian nation and region.
“The utility would further like to warn the perpetrators of the detrimental effects that their actions might have on them, such as electrocution and serious injuries when falling from extreme heights,” Kambangula said.