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Opinions of Friday, 1 June 2007

Columnist: Ananse, Yaw

What is the expiry date of the Akosombo dam?

This morning my daughter aged 14 years and had visited Ghana once poised a question that has bothered me all day.

Papa, how is Ghana addressing the energy problems??

My daughter, our minister says all will be well by 31 September, oh no! 30th September 2007

"How is it being addressed?"

This part was very tricky but I managed to lie, 'em, I hope by that time, the water level at Akosombo would have risen?.

She just stared at me in a way that made me feel very stupid.

"So cant there be an alternative solution than waiting for nature?"

At this point I realized, I must gear up more sensible answers to make her feel I was much wiser and abreast with the issue.

"you see, the country is planning to have nuclear energy and ???."

My daughter breaks in with a large laughter and asked if the country could really manage this nuclear stuff, I was even surprised when she said, more advanced countries like the Netherlands even have a tough time to manage such facilities.

"Papa, I am afraid Ghana has to forget the nuclear energy plans for I can assure you that one day, the entire nation will not wake up from their sleep - do you remember Chernobyl?"

I kept quite listening further.

"Papa, why doesn't the government of Ghana encourages the free importation of solar panels for domestic use and get some of these western countries (Germany) to provide aid in the form of technical assistance in maintaining this alternative energy.

Maybe, you can get the Dutch to help provide some wind energy up in Northern Ghana.

"How old is the current turbine at Akosombo?"

Her question reminds me of a remark made by a gentleman to Capt. Rtd. Effah Dartey in Amsterdam in 2003. "Sir, what is the expiry date of the Akosombo dam?"

The whole hall burst into laughter, but today, I cannot agree more than to call this gentleman a great philosopher.

Businesses are collapsing, revenue being lost and the uncertainty increases as to when this whole issue will be resolved.

During my last visit to Ghana about 3 months ago, I found it hard to believe that the power rationing did not spare the Hospitals, TV stations, traffic lights and many other essential installations.

I argued fiercely with a friend that who ever was in charge of the power-rationing program (either from ECG or Ministry of Energy) was highly incompetent and ought to be sacked!

How could they fail to ensure that essential installations are included in the program?

I still battle with the questions of my daughter, "How is it being addressed?"

All what I have heard from the government is.?we are going to, we hope to, we will?. For how long can we take on this crap of statements?

Is our president sensitive to the plight of our dear nation? Is it the same JA Kuffuor who spoke the best words I wanted to hear when he was in the opposition?

How can we spend so much on building a presidential palace or celebrating an event when we look on to see revenue, jobs and lives lost?

Oh Ghana!



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