SLEWRC engages EDSA on prepaid metre challenges

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July 23, 2018

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

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Director General of SLEWRC Tamba Kellie

Director-General of Sierra Leone Electricity and Water Regulatory Commission (SLEWRC), Tamba Kellie, last Friday informed the press that they have engaged the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) on issues relative to the prepaid metres.

“The Director-General and two members of staff – the Economic Regulator and the Head of Electricity – paid a visit to the EDSA offices at Electricity House and  Siaka Stevens Street to get first-hand information on the issues relating to the current prepaid metre token vending process,’’ he said.

Kellie explained that over the past two weeks, EDSA customers have been experiencing problems with the purchase of electricity prepaid metre token via the normal aggregators and the mobile phone based vending systems operated by Africell Money and Orange Money, thus prompting the commission to investigate the problem and it causes.

‘’Speaking with the Acting Commercial Manager of EDSA, Ing. Mallay Festus Bangura said both EDSA and the aggregators started experiencing problems of system connectivity loss after a recent rain storm in which atmospheric discharges hit their system infrastructure,’’ Kellie said, adding that the aggregators, Vendtech, ipay, Africell Money, and Orange Money were all connected to Conlog – the prepaid meter tokens operator based in South Africa, through the power hub and EDSA’s server and the hit has created problems with the connection.

The SLEWRC boss revealed that during their meeting with the commercial manager, the latter assured him that the process of solving the problem was ongoing and that the individual aggregators were now installing servers to improve on the resilience to such failures and doing necessary configurations along with Conlog, which is part of the organisation’s measures to prevent the recurrence of similar problems in the future.

“They have highlighted that Conlog monitors the system infrastructure which can detect the occurrence of such network outages and slow-downs in real time, as such Conlog is fully aware of the problem and were working to resolve it,’’ Kellie said.

Kellie further said EDSA had promised the regulatory authority that the problem would be solved by 2nd August, adding that they’re monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, Engineer Kelcise Sesay, Head of Electricity SLEWRC, said low voltage in certain areas is due to overload from the transformer because large number of people are connected to one transformer.

He said EDSA would increase the number of transformers to the network, adding that new outlets have been set up throughout the country to help with otherwise manual vending process, and pleaded with customers to exercise patience while they strive to fix the problems.