The voltage suddenly increased last night in Banjul without warning. The light in my room got brighter and the fan whirred violently faster, and as I sat up in bed wondering what had happened, I heard the sound of fuses blowing off one by one. I rushed to turn off the power strip connecting my laptops and server to the mains, but not before the server power supply had blown up, as well as the Adapter for one of the laptops. Then the power strip itself saved me the trouble, and promptly blew up with a loud pop even as I got there. Then the lightbulbs in the house started popping off one by one, followed by the fans. Luckily my mother turns off the fridge and TV switch at night as a precaution, or those would have gone too [I have often been irritated by her switch-turning-off tendencies - she insists on turning everything not in use off - but now I see the wisdom in her ways]. The heat and mosquitoes kept me up all night.
This morning I found out that every single appliance - fans, tapes, fridges, lightbulbs, dvd players - that had been connected to the Mains on my street had been destroyed by the excess voltage, and at least one house burned down, the old woman who inhabitated it running out just in the nick of time when she smelt smoke from a burning tape.
There have been reports of NAWEC destroying people's electrical devices before, but nothing on this scale - this is totally unprecedented, and quite frankly ridiculous, and a poor, poor, showing by the power company, which is totally inexcusable. Blackouts are one thing, but destroying expensive electrical equipment and endangering lives is something else entirely.
NAWEC owes us an explanation, and an apology, if not more.