SIKANDUKO: The Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the Kavango Region have opened a case of sabotage after power line structures here were vandalised, resulting in the power outage currently experienced in the region.
NamPol Commander for the Kavango Region, Commissioner Olavi Auanga announced this on Monday during a meeting with Ministry of Mines and Energy Isak Katali and NamPower Managing Director Paulinus Shilamba here.
Katali and Shilamba flew into the region on Monday morning to assess the situation on the ground.
Residents have been without electricity and water since last Thursday when 11 poles carrying electricity some 15 kilometres outside Rundu were damaged by heavy rains and wind, cutting off power to the entire region.
Eleven metal electricity poles, which under normal circumstances would have been able to withstand the heavy weather conditions, broke during the strong rain and winds as the steel beams supporting the power line structures had been removed by vandals.
Auanga said investigations are underway to find the culprits who removed the steel beams.
The commissioner stressed that when caught, the culprits will not be granted bail as the offence is very serious and affected all residents of the region.
Katali said the Kavango Region will be without electricity until Wednesday this week at the latest, and urged residents and businesses to be patient.
He advised them to use generators where possible, noting that NamPower technicians are hard at work repairing the vandalised structures.
The minister noted that the extent of the damage has not yet been established, but estimated that it is huge.
On his part, Shilamba called on the local leadership of the region to sensitise their communities about the dangers of setting up homes underneath power lines and next to electricity sub-stations.
Meanwhile, all school lessons have been suspended until further notice. Grade 10 and 12 learners are however still required to attend school as they are busy with examinations.
Most shops without generators have closed, while others continue to discard perishable food.
Government institutions and municipal offices are also closed.
Although NamWater supplied generators to pump water into reservoirs, it is not enough for the entire region.