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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 14:42, June 08, 2006
Blackout to affect Tanzanian fans watching World Cup
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Soccer fans in Tanzania may have to miss more than a third of the live television coverage of the coming World Cup group matches due to scheduled nationwide power rationing.

The Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) has decided to start on Thursday a power rationing that is pronounced to last from 7:00 till 18:00 local time.

Though a number of soccer-maniacs in the country have openly vented their displeasure and have pleaded with the power supplier to adjust its planned power rationing scheme, Tanesco disheartened soccer fans by ruling out the possibility of modifying the power rationing scheme.

The soccer fans, therefore, are to miss all those group matches starting at 16:00 local time and miss at least the first half of the group matches starting at 17:00 local time.

The affected games account for 18 out of the 48 group matches.

Soccer fans have to cross their fingers to hope for the better in that all the matches in the knock-out quarter-finals, semi-finals and the grand finale start either at 18:00 sharp or later.

But their hope depends on whether Tanesco can restore power provision according to schedule.

Tanesco Public Relations Manager Daniel Mshana told local media that his company is fully aware of the importance of the World Cup to millions of soccer fans in Tanzania, but that the current situation was out of the hands of the company.

"We are extremely sorry for the inconveniences caused to our customers, but we are also extremely constrained," said the PR officer.

The company, Tanzania's sole electricity supplier, has to exercise power shedding in that the water levels at the country's main hydropower reservoirs were below normal operation level.

As of Wednesday, the water level at the country's key hydropower dam of Mtera was 689 meters above sea level, or still one meter below its minimum required level for normal power generation.

The maximum water level at the dam is supposed to be at 698.5 meters above sea level.

Prolonged lack of rainfalls have caused the water levels at these hydropower reservoirs to drop.

Source: Xinhua

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