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News: Ethiopia reconnects Tigray’s capital to national power grid

Mekelle City. Photo Walta Info.

Addis Abeba – Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), state owned electric provider has said Mekelle, the capital city of the war torn Tigray region, is re-connected to the national power grid after more than one year of total blackout since 28 June 2021.

Communications Director at Ethiopian Electric Power, Moges Mekonen told Addis Standard that, “power is now being supplied to Mekelle from the national grid”. He added that re-connecting the city to the national power grid will enable EEP to centrally control power supply to and from Mekelle.

A resident of the city told the BBC that “electricity has been everywhere in the city since yesterday (Tuesday).” In October this year, the BBC published Nasa’s satellite images mapping the power blackout over the span of two years, which showed how the capital Mekelle “disappear[ed]from Nasa satellite photos.”

Despite limited access from the Tekeze hydro-electric dam off the national power grid, and with the exception between December 2020 and June 2021 when the federal government’s appointed interim administration was in place, most part of the Tigray Region has been under electricity blackout since the start of a war in early November 2020 between the Ethiopian government and Tigrayan forces.

The Federal government accuses Tigrayan forces of deliberately destructing electric infrastructures, while the Tigrayan authorities say the government has deliberately cut off basic services including electricity, banking and communications in areas under their administration.

Following a peace deal reached between the two on 02 November in Pretoria, South Africa, the federal government has committed it self to restoring basic services.

Moges said Mekelle is re-connected to the national grid following a maintenance work of the 230 KV high power transmission line from Alamata to Mekoni which was damaged severely during the two years war.

Moges said maintenance of power transmission lines connecting Tekeze to Axum is underway, while maintenance of 230KV transmission line supplying power to Humera and Shire has been completed. AS

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