Friday, August 19, 2022

Ghana

Krobo: Unknown persons cut down ECG high voltage poles

Some unknown persons have cut down high-tension wooden electricity poles with a chainsaw at Adelakope on the Tema-Akosombo highway in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of the Eastern region which connects power to communities such as Akuse junction, Akorley and Aseseeso in the Okere district”.

The incident is believed to have happened Thursday evening in protest against continuous power cuts in the area.

“Unidentified persons reportedly around 11:00 pm cut off a high tension Pole with a chainsaw at Adelakope on the Tema, Akosombo high way in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of Eastern region which connects power to communities such as Akuse junction, Akorley and Aseseeso in the Okere district,” Opambour Gyaman Simon of Rite FM reported.

ECG neither confirmed or denied the incident when contacted.

The Electricity Company of Ghana, ECG, switched feeders supplying power to Yilo and Manya Krobo municipalities on July 27, 2022, over attacks on its staff and tempering of its transformers by some unscrupulous residents resisting prepaid meter installations.

The power cut to the two municipalities is having serious implications for health, education and the local economy.

The Yilo Krobos District Education Directorate has warned that second-cycle boarding schools in the Municipality risk closure if the electricity supply is not restored in the coming days.

Public Relations Officer for Yilo Krobo Municipal Education Directorate Mr Solomon Sackitey said on Friday, August 5, 2022, that, boarding schools in the Municipality spend between ghc300 to ghc500 daily on fuel to power generators to preserve perishables in refrigerators.

According to GES, this is unsustainable.

Meanwhile, parents are being asked to buy torchlights for their wards to learn particularly those writing the West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Furthermore, the management of Yilo Krobo and Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Health Directorates in a joint statement issued on August 1, 2022, warned of a public health emergency if power is not restored to their districts immediately.

The health directorates said the power outage is seriously affecting clinical services in hospitals in the municipalities.

For instance, in Yilo Krobo, the power outage has caused the relocation of municipal Cold Chain Equipment, which includes vaccine fridges and freezers for ice packs.

The directorate is also spending GH¢500 a day to power a generator.

“Ongoing COVID-19 vaccination is also affected as a result vaccination team, district and sub-district supervisors are not able to charge their mobile phones and tablets, therefore not been able to enter data and monitoring/supervisory reports,” the statement said.

The Yilo Krobo District Hospital is barely three months old with very little capital and a host of challenges but forced to spend an unbudgeted amount of GH¢10,975 to power its diesel generator, according to the statement.

At the Somanya polyclinic, the directorates also said the only generator plant “which was donated by ECG to Somanya polyclinic has been taken back without any explanation by ECG and therefore the facility has no alternative source of power.”

“The power outage has affected all aspects of clinical and public health care in the facility. The most affected areas are maternity units, laboratory services, in-patients, vaccine fridges and administration.”

Atua and St.Martins Depores Hospitals spend ghc3,000 and Ghc5,000 respectively every day on fuel to power generators.

The directorates say it cannot sustain the high cost of fueling generators at the various hospitals forewarning that “ we may not be able to sustain it to provide the quality health care services as expected.” therefore appealing to the government and management of ECG to restore electric power supply to all health facilities within the affected areas “in the shortest possible time to avert a possible public health emergency.”

Health workers including Doctors Anaesthetists, Nurses, Midwives, Laboratory scientists, and Pharmacists in Atua Government Hospital, St Martins Hospital, Yilo District hospital, Somanya polyclinic, health centres and various CHPs Compounds have also served notice to withdraw night services over insecurity as a result of the power outage in Yilo and Lower Manya krobo Municipalities.

The health workers argue that “the darkness we’re plunged into has given room to some criminals and hooligans to rob, harass, and ill-treat some of the health workers who lived at hard-to-reach areas.

“A Nurse got robbed in the dark after closing from an afternoon shift and walking home. Another got chased on her way home. To avoid these and promote our personal security, we might be forced to avoid the dark hours (4pm-7am). This will mean there will be no night health services. we shall avail ourselves at the hospital’s premises from 8 am to 4 pm. We hope ECG, the Chiefs, political leaders, national security and the various stakeholders in this impasse find an amicable solution to this problem as early as possible” Anaesthetist Miletso spokesperson for the health workers said.

However, the Management of St. Martin de Porres Hospital, Agormanya in Lower Manya Krobo municipality says the dead bodies in the mortuary are in good condition.

The Administrator of St. Martin Deporres hospital, Emmanuel Bosompim said the hospital has no plans of shutting down either the mortuary or any other unit of the facility due to the current power outage.

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He explained that the hospital has modern standby power systems powering all units of the facility since the outage adding “if at all the current situation will demand a specific shutdown at a point the management will officially communicate that information to their cherished clients through all modern and community media platforms”.

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