Papua New Guinea's second city, Lae, has spent of this week without electricity after a fire at the PNG Power substation at Taraka.
The power failures began on Monday night, leaving many offices and homes in the dark and forcing some schools to close because a water supply could not be guaranteed.
Some businessses were able to use their own generators, but a spokesperson for the PNG Water Board says its generators are not designed for continuous operation and cannot keep up with the frequency of power outages in Lae.
He says the outages are affecting the Board's ability to ensure a reliable supply of water to Lae.
Primary schools closed because without water in the ablution blocks there were concerns that it could spread the cholera and dysentery which has been present in the province for several months.