Operations have been put at risk due to frequent tower theft

Operations have been put at risk due to frequent tower theft

Ethiopian Electric Power North region has stated that the frequent tower theft from high voltage transmission lines in the region pose a challenge to operation and maintenance activities.

Mr. Hintsa Aregawi, manager of the transmission line and OPGW maintenance department in the region, electric tower theft is occurring across all areas of the region, with a higher frequency noted in the Inderta, Wajrat and Adigudom districts of the south east zone of Tigray region.

According to him, five towers fell out because of the theft of tower members from the 230 KV transmission line project that runs from Mekele substation to Berhale Dalol.

The manager explained that, the theft has been escalating in other parts of the regions, as they found a body that will take over the stolen tower members nearby and loose legal enforcement around the cities.

He added that this situation is not only leading to unnecessary expenses and an increased workload for EEP, but also negatively impacts service accessibility and quality.

The problem is escalating due to the lack of action being taken, despite the fact that the culprits have been red handed and prosecuted in collaboration with law enforcement organs, the manager explained.

Mr. Hntsa pointed out that despite sending multiple letters to all the woreda and zones in an attempt to address the problem, they did not receive a satisfactory response.

Moreover, a request has been sent to the interim administration of Tigray to discuss the problem, and they are currently waiting for a response.
The manager emphasized that the responsibility of preventing theft of electric towers does not solely fall on one party, thus, political leadership, security, law enforcement organs and the entire society needs to fulfill their respective roles to avert the problem.
Ethiopian Electric Power suffered a loss of over 100 million birr in 2015 EFY because of the theft of electricity infrastructure.

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