July 13, 2017 By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Customers and users of the condemned 8-digits Apateur prepaid metres, installed by the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA), have expressed their anger and frustration over the latter’s failure to replace the prepaid metres, which means they cannot get light until new metres are fixed.
One of the aggrieved customers, Patrick Sesay, expressed disappointment over the non-availability of the EDSA’s prepaid metres which were to replace condemned 8-digits Apateur prepaid metres.
“I am frustrated because I have registered my condemned Apateur prepaid metres for three weeks now. I’m yet to receive a replacement for it,” he said angrily.
Sesay said the unavailability of electricity at his home has caused grave damage to him as all his frozen foods in the refrigerator have gone bad.
“I want the authorities of EDSA to quickly replace his condemned 8-digits Apateur prepaid metre,” he urged.
Another aggrieved customer, Tony Wisdom, said he had registered his metre for replacement since last week but was yet to receive a new one.
“EDSA should have informed us about this ugly development so that we would have prepared very well for the weeks ahead. We are now experiencing the worst blackout in recent years,” he claimed.
Wisdom said EDSA is not ‘a responsible institution’ because it does not respect its customers, adding that the agency’s service delivery is very poor, thus urging for an urgent upgrade.
Ishmael Sesay, another customer from Mellon Street, East of Freetown, recalled that he had been faced with a similar predicament in the past.
“I have replaced my metre over and again because of poor quality electricity supply. Now EDSA has officially asked all of us using the 8-digits Apateur prepaid metres to register them for replacement. We want people [EDSA] to tell us the truth about the electricity situation now; I think something is not right at EDSA,” he said.
He expressed frustration with the manner in which EDSA is distributing prepaid metres, alleging that if somebody does not bribe officials their metre would not be replaced on time.
Meanwhile, an inside sources at EDSA said the reason for the replacement of the 8-digits Apateur prepaid metres was as a result of a crash in the system.
“This situation has caused serious problem in the country and has impacted negatively on our customers. Most people use electricity supply for their daily chores. Traders, including fish mongers and frozen food sellers, have all been affected negatively across the country,” the inside source said.
Speaking on Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) Television “EDSA Hour” yesterday, Deputy Director-General of EDSA, Dr. Henry Saccoi, said plans were underway to quickly replace the condemned 8-digits Apateur prepaid metres.
“We have brought in new prepaid metres, we hope the replacement will be done in Freetown within two weeks,” he said and pleaded with customers to be patient.
“We will form different teams across Freetown to do the replacement, we expect each team to replace 400 prepaid metres per day,” he promised.
Senior Superintendent in-charge of Operations at EDSA, Abdul T. Sanu, said that the replacement would be free as it was their duty to provide electricity and services to the people of Sierra Leone.
“We generate funds from the services we provide to our customers and those funds are needed for the smooth running of EDSA. If there is no electricity supply we will not generate income,” he said during “EDSA Hour” on SLBC Television.