The Northern regional capital – Tamale and its surrounding residents have expressed dismayed over what they describe as continuous power outrage for the past two months, making their living condition very terrible.
The locals worry that the ongoing outages would bring back the “dumsor” era, which was marked by sporadic power outages and electricity load shedding.
They are calling on the government to offer both an explanation for the frequent interruptions and a lasting solution to the problem that keeps increasing their woes.
Martey Rafael, a resident and a storekeeper, highlighted the severe impact the power outages have had on his business and living condition.
“Our business is suffering greatly from these outages, and NEDCo needs to act fast. Just last week, we had to dispose of some of our products to prevent this place from emitting foul odours that could drive customers away” he said.
Similarly in May this year, residents within the Garu and Tempane areas in the Upper East Region went on a demonstration against the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), over similar issue of continuous power outages.
Presenting a petition to the District Chief Executives for Garu and Tempane, Osman Musah and Issaka Anabida, the residents said, “the frequent power outages have brought untold hardships on the people in the area, which has made it very difficult for the local people to go about their daily social and economic activities”.
They said the incident was having a negative toll on agriculture production in the area, adding, “sometimes we experience 24-hour blackout, which causes eggs in incubators to get rotten and unfertilized”.
The concerned residents stated that households had not been left out, as gadgets of some of the residents had been damaged completely as because of the erratic power supply.
They explained further those offices and institutions were not functioning properly as both public and private institutions were losing their customers and income due to the current power situation in the area.
They, therefore, demanded stable power supply in both communities to enable the residents to go about their activities effectively, noting, “Just as it will be a breach of contract when we fail to pay our bills, it is equally a breach of contract if NEDCo fails to give us stable power supply.”
Upper East Area Engineer of NEDCo, Ishmael Ben Kwofie, said the power outages experienced were a result of damages to about 63 electricity poles due to rainstorm.
He noted that the damages caused by the storm were very extensive and they were struggling to get immediate materials to restore power to the affected communities, adding, “Although the situation is unpleasant, contractors are currently working on site to rectify the problem”.
He stated that communities mostly hit were Akara, Woriyanga, Yakoti Number Four and Kpikpira and that a total of 31 electricity poles had been completely destroyed in such communities.
He urged the residents to remain calm as NEDCo was doing everything in its power to attend to the problem and restore power supply to all affected communities.