SONABEL Strives to Address Prolonged Power Outages Amidst Severe Heat in Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU — Burkina Faso’s national electricity provider, SONABEL, is facing critical challenges due to persistent power outages since March 26, as the country grapples with extreme temperatures. The company’s chief, Souleymane Ouédraogo, conveyed the firm’s struggles and efforts to mitigate the issue in a recent public statement.

According to Burkina Information Agency, the company has been encountering significant hurdles since late March, impacting various sectors across Burkina Faso. The power interruptions have unfolded amid a period of intense heat, exacerbating the discomfort and difficulties for the populace and businesses alike.

Souleymane Ouédraogo, addressing the concerns raised by numerous affected customers, emphasized SONABEL’s commitment to resolving the ongoing crisis. He acknowledged the emotional and operational toll it has taken on the company and its clientele, stating the team’s determination to overcome the challenges, despite the complexity of the situation.

The reduction in electricity supply from Ghana, which has cut back 200 MW due to its own gas supply constraints, has been identified as a principal factor behind the power shortages. The SONABEL executive highlighted the urgent need to enhance Burkina Faso’s internal energy generation capabilities to avert such predicaments in the future.

Moreover, Ouédraogo pointed out the disparity between the surge in demand, which has climbed by 490 MW from 2011 to 2024, and the relatively modest increase in production capacity, which saw a 222 MW rise during the same timeframe. He also noted the aging infrastructure at SONABEL, with a significant portion of equipment nearing obsolescence, further straining their ability to maintain reliable service amid the ongoing heat wave.

The SONABEL CEO conveyed the government’s support through various concessions and underscored the initiation of substantial projects aimed at enhancing the energy sector’s robustness. He also advocated for the broader adoption of solar energy solutions among those who can access them, emphasizing its role in diversifying and stabilizing Burkina Faso’s energy landscape.