General News of Saturday, 24 January 2015
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has said it cannot conjure rains to help the worsening power situation as far as production by the Akosombo hydroelectric dam is concerned.
“Rain comes from God…we cannot conjure rain from Heaven…maybe we should all gird our loins and start praying for the rains to come,” Public Affairs Director of the PURC Nana Yaa Gyantuah told Starr News in an interview Friday January 22, 2015.
Power producer Volta River Authority (VRA), transmitter Ghana Grid Company (GRIDco) and distributor Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) are shedding between 500 and 600 Megawatts of power to contain the crisis, which has persisted for the past three years.
President John Mahama recently explained to Ghanaians in Germany that the problem has come about as a result of shortfalls in gas supply from the West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGPco) in Nigeria to power thermal plants in Tema, as well as the closure of two of the Akosombo Dam’s six turbines due to low level of water in the Volta Lake.
Gyantuah, however, said: “Once we get some form of rain in that catchment, the Akosombo, we are good to go.”
“But as long as it’s going further down: six turbines, we are down to four, if it goes further we will be down to three, then we’ll be over-drafting the dam, breaking down the dam, then that is another crisis,” she said.
She also said Ghanaians must learn to accept the current power crisis rather than keep “living in denial.”
“I should say that there should be some form of acceptance of the situation.
“Till we want to do that and say that one, I have accepted that, two, how are we going to make sure that it is gone? Because you see, because we haven’t accepted that we are in a crisis, there are so many reasons: some people are saying that no, they are being inefficient, this one says that, this one says that.
“…There’s a time that we should be still and say: ‘This is it’. We have to face it head on. It does not matter where you are. As long as we don’t accept that this is it, let’s face it head on,” the situation will persist, Gyantuah told Osei Owusu Amankwaah.