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General News of Friday, 5 April 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

PDS releases list of areas to experience power outages on Saturday

Oxford Street in Osu, New Town, National Theatre, Dansoman, Alisa Hotel and Odokor will be affected

The Power Distribution Services Ghana Limited has released a list of areas throughout the country that will experience 14hours of power outages on Saturday, April 6.

Those areas include parts of the Volta, Central, Western, Greater Accra, Tema and Eastern regions.

In Accra, Oxford Street in Osu, New Town, The National Theatre, Dansoman, Alisa Hotel and Odokor will be affected. The outage will last from 4 AM – 6 PM.

The outage stems from the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant that shut down last week.

At a press briefing Monday, Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Power, Mr William Owuraku Aidoo, apologised for the inconvenience the outage has caused.

“On behalf of the Minister of Energy, John-Peter Amewu, and the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, I want to apologise to the people of Ghana for the current situation and assure them that we have taken steps to deal with the challenge,” he said.

He continued: “Our hope, as a ministry, was to reduce drastically the impact of the interconnectivity exercise, so we thought the public would not even know about the partial shutdown, but, unfortunately, this is where we find ourselves.”

Meanwhile, Ghanaians are reeling from the lack of power. When the outages began in late March in Kokomlemle, residents pleaded for a response from the government after a lack of supply left them in darkness for days.

Kwesi Owusu is a tailor whose work has been “hugely affected” due to lack of electricity. “Clients are disappointed. Government must fix this problem,” he told Joy FM.

Another resident, Joseph, owns a barbershop and has resorted to cutting hair manually. “I had to turn away most of my clients. It’s pathetic.”

PDS Accra East Region Public Relations Officer, Isaac Nurris Ainooson, told Joy FM last Saturday that what caused the problem was from a faulty joint in the power lines.

He explained that in March and April specifically, extreme heat temperatures and the corresponding need of electricity overwhelms the power grid, leading to blackouts.

Ainooson would not confirm nor deny whether the power would remain steady, although he did mention that the problem has been temporarily fixed.

“We’ve had to throw away food, which comes at a cost. Some of us had to sleep outside because there’s no air coming into the room,” said another Accra resident living in Madina, where the power also cut out for several days. It’s frustrating.”

In 2016, ECG (now PDS) Ashanti regional public relations officer, Erasmus Kyere Baidoo, told Al Jazeera that one of the major problems with Ghana’s power supply is because “people try to cheat the system.”

He explained that only approximately 40 percent of ECG (now PDS) customers pay their bills, causing the company to be in millions of dollars in debt.

"What about the 60 percent [of customers that don’t pay]?" Baidoo asked. "Are you going to arrest everybody? Will you deny them power because they have not paid their bills?"

Last year, Energy Minister debunked rumours that dumsor was making a comeback.

"We’re not in an era of ‘dum koraaa.’ The lights may go off as we are witnessing, but I can assure you that, that long period that we envisaged that our opponents think that they want to capitalize on, that period will never come because we’re managing the system,” he said.

He continued: “We have people here to manage the system, and we can give assurance to Ghanaians that the situation now is very much under control."