The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Tongu Constituency in the Volta Region, Hon Alexander Gabby Hottordze, has dragged the Minister for Energy to parliament over erratic power supply in the constituency for the past few months.
According to the MP, the constituency has been experiencing power outages for the past seven months and the situation is affecting economic activities as well as security in the area.
Posing a question to the minister on Thursday February 1, Mr. Hottirdze said, “Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Energy what plans the Ministry has to rehabilitate some lines, poles, and transformers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in Adidome, Mafi-Kumase and its environs, which have been connected to the national grid since 1984?”
In response to the question, a Deputy Minister for Energy, William Owuraku Aidoo, said the ministry had information of the problem and is working to solve it by the end of the second quarter of 2018.
“Mr. Speaker, our checks with ECG indicate that expansion works within the Adidome area have been captured as part of ECG’s 2018 budget and works are expected to commence by the second quarter of 2018.”
“Furthermore, approval is expected to be obtained for network expansion of Mafi Zongo by end of first quarter, 2018. For Mafi Kumase area, we are informed that expansion works shall be captured in ECG’s 2019 budget,” the Deputy Minister stated.
Confirming the problem, the Deputy Minister said, following the completion of an electrification project under the National Electrification Scheme (NES), the Ministry hands over the project to the respective utility company.
He said under the current circumstance, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Limited or the Northern Electricity Department (NED), based on the location of the community, for maintenance and operation, as well as future expansion of the network.
Since early 2017, communities in certain parts of the Volta and Northern Regions, have been experiencing frequent power outages or power failures caused by natural weather phenomena such as lightning, rainstorm and wind which resulted in fallen electrical poles and others.
The rainstorms usually expose the electrical circuits and electrical switchboards as well as wires to water and bad weather, but that could not be said in the case of the Central Tongu constituency.
Nevertheless, the Deputy Minister said, NEDCo and ECG were undertaking pragmatic process to resolve the frequent power outages in Adidome and Mafi-Kumase.
He assured the MP and the people of Central Tongu constituency that government was committed to providing stable power supply to every part of the country, including the affected areas in question.
Bu Mr. Hottordze told The Republic that, the incident is so severe such that there was no week if not days passing without power cut in the constituency.
He attributed the problem partly to the government failure to undertake periodic maintenance since the communities were hooked onto the national grid in 1984, stating, ” these communities, Adidome, Mafi-Kumase were privilege to have been connected to the national grid since 1984.”
“This was possible because one of the substation for Akosombo is at Adidome, while the transmission or High Voltage poles also started from our area to Lome-Togo. So since then there has not been major maintenance works undertaken on these transformers and other equipments,” he added.
The MP said, several attempts by the local Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in Adidome to resolve the problem failed and for fear that the entire constituency may go total black out, he has to summon the minister to parliament to explain the measures being taken to resolve such unusual power cut.
The situation, he stated, has left many customers of ECG in difficulties and have therefore started to raise questions about whether the dreaded rolling power cut had returned.
Mr. Hottordze appealed to the government to act quick for many business and enterprises are collapsing as the result of the absence of regular power supply in the area, noting, ” as I speak, many cold stores, drinking spots and other business that depend largely to trade their business are collapsing.”
He therefore called on the government to speed up with any process needed to resolve to the power situation, stating that, “the absence of power supply in the district is affecting economic activities and the youth also leaving to urban.”
He further urged the constituent to remain calm as he works to ensure speedily restoration of power in the constituency.
Source: Therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba