Cameroon’s worsening power shortages are due to rapid population growth that has exceeded supply of electricity, Minister of Water and Energy Gaston Eloundou Essomba has said.

“Because of population growth, some electricity transmission and distribution equipment are now overloaded,” the minister told a press conference on Thursday evening in the capital, Yaounde.

The press conference was called amid threats of nationwide protests following weeks of frequent power cuts.

Essomba said sabotage on electricity lines, frequent maintenance works were also responsible for the power outages which have badly affected the economy of the Central African nation.

The country’s lone electricity supply company, ENEO Cameroon, has been struggling to meet growing demand for electricity and regularly implements rolling blackouts to avoid a total collapse of the national grid.

Cameroon hopes to invest more in renewable energy to solve the energy crisis, officials said. Enditem

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