d’Update d’Off

In talking with a number of the UN folks here in Abengourou (who in turn have talked to other folks/officials in the area and beyond) a larger picture of what is happening with d’Off d’10 emerges.
As I mentioned earlier, there are some rather large problems with the Azito power station in Abidjan. This actually wasn’t news as the station has been under repair for some time now. The repairs took awhile to get going, not because of any issues at a local level, but because this station is owned by a French company who appeared to be a bit lax in getting around to making the repairs. They are indeed underway now and if all goes well, the station should be back up to full potential by mid-March. This is an optimistic estimate, albeit one tinged with a degree of sensibility as even if this station is back up to full potential, there will still be cuts, but only in the neighborhood of four hours a day or so. Personally, I’m hoping that however they end up being, there is at least power through the night as sleeping fanless is funless.
But this power station wasn’t the only electrical issue in all of this and the power cuts should have started some time back. It just so happened that there was an event you might have heard of called the African Cup of Nations which finished last week, crowning Egypt as the champions. Once over, the cuts happened. Coincidence? Not at all. For those in the US, it is probably difficult to understand that much as Eddie Izzard proclaimed, “Cake or Death!” it is “Football or Death!” for the rest of the world when it comes to watching the game. If Côte d’Ivoire blacked out during those matches, there would have been riots. People can drink warm beer a lot happier than watching no football, so given this disposition, the authorities realized that more power needed to appear as it wasn’t coming from Azito. They turned to their minority power production that exists in the form of hydroelectricity. The dams were opened fuller than they should have been to run the turbines higher and generate more power. While this worked, it has severely reduced the banked supply of energy which is why once Azito comes back online, there still won’t be enough power. All the cost of a Football Now, Sweat Later platform in government. So Populist…
Eventually, the rains will come to the far North of the country and the dams will be refilled to produce all the power that is needed. Unfortunately, this happens in May. Until then, it is what it is and the soft, purring sound of diesel generators shall be heard lulling many an Ivorian to sleep.
As a footnote very much worth mentioning, the elections that were supposed to happen for the last five years, but were truly and like, so totally going to happen last November, probably won’t even happen in 2010 now. Some estimates even put them at March of 2011. The reason for this being that the president of the Election Commission was found fraudulently adding 429,000 people to the rolls that didn’t exist. Naturally, it makes sense that this fellow was a member of the opposition, but this doesn’t do too much for the cause of the opposition as he is now going to jail and large chunks if not all of the electoral process need to be restarted, delaying this election; which the process of having is much like distilling molasses in the middle of January, in Canada, by a couple of moose, who are holidaying in Cuba, watching the Cup of Nations, with full air conditioning through the night.

3 Replies to “d’Update d’Off”

  1. Good article – I didn’t know about the hydroelectric situation. It’s 429,000 though not 419,000.

  2. I keep having to revise that figure. When I first heard it, it was 400,000 and then I corrected it to 419. Thanks for the update. Insane number whatever it is. That amount of votes would have even shifted the presidential race in the US in 2000.

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