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06 July 2016

Power outages back! Consumers wail

dumsoragainIt appears the dreaded power outages, popularly known as “dumsor’ which haunted many Ghanaians over the last four years and paralysed many businesses is back.

With no timetable, no prior information some consumers say their lights have gone off several days and nights over the last few weeks.

Officials of the Electricity Corporation of Ghana would not officially confirm that the load shedding exercise has begun despite a concession that over 240 megawatts of power is shed daily.

The Public Utility and Regulatory Commission, (PURC) which has oversight responsibility over  the utility providers has instructed ECG to release a timetable to regulate the load shedding exercise, something the power distributor is yet to do.

Joy News has learnt of an impending meeting between officials of ECG and the PURC later Tuesday.

Government has attributed the recent power outages to lack of fuel to power the various thermal plants and has promised to work tirelessly to resolve the problem.

In February this year, President John Mahama, in his state of the nation address paid glorying tribute to his men for fixing the power crisis in the country.

“I stood before this very august house and promised to fix the power sector deficit that at the time had become a significant constraint to the economic growth and a destruction to Ghanaians both home and at work.

“This was a time of considerable national anxiety. The deficit brought about a severe power rationing and I was very much concerned. Ghanaians had to sleep in darkness or spend money to fuel generators. Businesses faced challenges, and I expressed my full regret to the nation and I took full responsibility as President and leader of this nation and commander in Chief,” he added.

He said although getting through the task was not easy, the hard work has paid off and this has “made us achieve the fastest mobilization of emergency power in the history of Ghana,” President John Mahama said.

He also indicated that about 800MW has been added to the national grid in the shortest period of time as part of measures to deal with the power crisis.

But the assurances notwithstanding, the country has slid back into darkness with its attendant discomfort to both residential and commercial users of electricity.

Some of the consumers who spoke to Joy News said the situation has become unbearable.

“This morning when i was leaving home it was even off. Last night when i got home it was on but all of a sudden it went off. The dumsor is still ongoing and we don’t know what is going one. It is getting worse,” a consumer told Joy News.

He thought that by virtue of his proximity to the barracks, the situation would be better but that is not the case.

“It is very bad. Day-in-and-day out the light has been going off. Out of a week it goes off about four times in a week,” another said.

It is not clear yet when the power outages will finally come to an end. Attempts to speak to Deputy Energy Minister John Jinapo proved futile.

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