Enugu — At least 35 communities are currently in darkness as a result of vandalizing the second power line installation belonging to Power Holding Company Nigeria (PHCN) at Udi side in Enugu State.
The affected communities are spread in Uzo-Uwani, Udi, Ezeagu and Orji River local government councils.
Daily Trust was reliably informed that the vandalization of the electrical installation built more than 50 years ago affected the 3 KV high tension power line from Oji River Power Station and disrupted water supply to Enugu Urban.
Conducting newsmen round the first and second legs of the installation, the Managing Director of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Distribution Enugu, Alhaji Suleman Yahaya, said the value of the damage to their property and equipment was more than N5million.
Yahaya also said the items stolen by the vandals included insulators, high tension copper wire and heavy iron channels. He said apart from power outage in the affected communities, power supply to the Ajalli Owa Water Intake, the main source of water supply to the state capital, was disrupted.
Also commenting on the incident, the Director of Transmission PHCN Enugu District, Mr. Ikechukwu Onumonu, said vandalization was an act of sabotage and sheer wickedness which negates the efforts off and state governments to provide power supply to the citizenry.
Onumonu said the atrocity committed four kilometers above sea level and behind Ngwo community was nothing but a handiwork of detractors and enemies of progress and government.
The Managing Director of Enugu State Water Corporation, Mr. O'Brian Offodu, condemned the activities of the vandals, adding that they had succeeded in jeopardizing water supply to Enugu metropolis and environs.
Ofodu said the Oji River Water Scheme could have been an alternative but for the limited quantity of water it could supply.