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Opinions of Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Columnist: Jasmine Arku

Dumsor: Inconsistent answers equals inconsistent power supply

I live at Ashongman Estate in Greater Accra and for the past two days I have been living in darkness not because I have failed to pay my electricity bills but because the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has denied me that privilege.

Just when I heaved a sigh of relief on Monday afternoon at about 3pm, after staying in the dark since 9am on Sunday, the power distributor took back the lights few minutes after I retired to bed. But for the cold weather, I’m sure their act would have denied me a sound sleep.

I’m not sure if we are back to dumsor since the president has stated clearly that he will not declare our return to the inconsistent power supply that had plagued the nation since 2011.

Nonetheless, I sought to find answers. I called the ECG call centre and a sweet female voice responded at the other end of the phone. She gave her name as Bernice. I enquired why my electricity supply had been inconsistent since Sunday morning.

In her bid to satisfy my curiosity she made me aware that they were facing a technical problem at one of their substations from which my location is fed electricity. I asked further which substation that was and was told that the substation was at Trassaco. Still not satisfied with the answer I asked “which of the Trassacos” and the lady boldly told me that it was located at Legon.

I thanked her for the information but still not satisfied with the answer, I made another call knowing very well that another person would answer this time.

This time it was a male voice and he gave his name as Yakubu. I narrated my situation to him, and asked why my neighbourhood was facing that challenge. To my utmost surprise, Yakubu told me my lights were off because they were having a challenge at the Mallam substation.

Wait a minute! I thought Bernice told me that the problem was because of the situation at the Legon, Trassaco station? So why did Yakubu give me a different story?

Still not satisfied, I placed a third call, this time, my parents were wondering why I was wasting my call credit on ECG. “But I need answers,” I told them. My call has been answered and it was Amartey on the phone.

I narrated the situation to him too and his answer was convincing enough since according to him, the substation which feeds my neighbourhood had been faced with some challenges since Sunday. As usual I asked again, “which substation please, and where is it located?”

Your guess is as good as mine. This time he told me the substation was located at the District office at Kwabenya. Hmm…that sounded convincing enough so I had no choice than to swallow a bitter pill hoping that the problem would be solved sooner than later.

So now, who is telling me the truth – ECG or government? I believe the government will do us a great service if it made available a load shedding timetable to help us manage our lives. The untruths are just too many and like myself, I believe many Ghanaians are getting frustrated. As for ECG, the least said about them, the better.