The Return Of NEPPA
NEPPA is the electricity service in Nigeria but it is very selective about when it serves! Yesterday there was a general strike and there was no electricity at all. Despite the strike being over we have had no electricity today either. Just as Lea was about to charge his phone with our Power Monkey-a small device that stores electricity for emergencies can charge up small items-the lights came on. We cheered and they immediately went off. However half an hour later they are back so we have rushed to charge our laptops, phones and lantern. Best of all the fan is now working again so we can cool down at bit. So now it has gone off again! That lasted all of 20 minutes. Time to put my head torch on again!
On Sunday Lea hada bad experience with too much NEPPA and had an electric shock despite the fact that we have surge breakers. It was quite scary but I phoned Emma who is the state team leader for ESSPIN who have provided us with the house and an electrician was here within the hour. He bore no resemblance to the Scottish Power electrician! However he was very thorough and checked out all the sockets –he didn’t seem bothered that the mains was still on but just asked if he could put his rubber sandals on! (Here people take off their shoes and leave them in the entrance to your house.) He said he had found a fault in the wiring which he fixed. Our neighbour from upstairs was very helpful and came down to interpret for us. Lea was quite shaken but is back to his old self now though maybe his hair is straighter!
Life without NEPPA often affects the water supply too which is why we have two big black bins in the corridor full of water. Cooking by candle light is okay but it is a hot sticky experience, Tonight we went to Martrite to return the kettle which has decide not to work-have to go back when the manager is there!-and coming through Ilorin in the dark is not easy. I decided it was not worth falling into a ditch so we called a taxi. The first demanded 300naira and wouldn’t lower so we let it go. The next wanted 200-still too much but I was too tired to argue so we got in. A taxi is different from a drop which is dearer. In a taxi you share with other people. If the driver sees someon flagging him down and if he is going their way and the price is right they can get in-the fact that there may noy be enough room is irrelevant! We got out at our road and stumbled down the path by the light of Lea’s torch. Returning to darkness in our house we now have to resort to candles which are very romantic and do solve issues around cleaning and tidying as it is too dim to see such minor details!