Businesses in the Krachi West District of the Oti Region are on the brink of collapse due to the erratic power supply by the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo).
According to business owners, they experience approximately 10 power outages in a day. This, they said, has taken a toll on their businesses as they solely depend on electricity to power their appliances to provide services.
They lamented that the rampant power outages coupled with low voltage is affecting their economic and social lives.
“Hold it firm, we have to be fast and deliver this job, we can’t trust NEDCo, the light can go off any moment”, said Maxwell Anyiaku a welder to his apprentice.
Maxwell, just like other residents, has been bearing the brunt of this erratic power supply, which has had a heavy toll on his welding business, affecting his work output.
“The frequent light-offs and low-voltage supplies are disturbing. Imagine you are working for somebody who needs the job delivered and you have to wait for power to be restored before you continue with your work”, he said in an interview with Joy News.
Bernice’s Cold Store which is situated along the principal street, serves the southern part of Kete-Krachi.
She explained how the unstable power supply from NEDCo is affecting her business, thereby reducing her profit margin.
She said “our businesses are suffering because of the light-offs. Our stocks often get spoilt due to the frequent light-offs, especially at night. We are pleading with the authorities to resolve the problem to save our businesses.”
The development has infuriated the residents as the entire Krachi West District continues to suffer the erratic power supply.
On Thursday, the residents hit the streets to press home their demand for better services.
They bemoaned the damages caused to their businesses and appliance and urged NEDCo to construct about two substations in the Oti Region, which they believe would resolve the problem.
Some of the protestors carried discarded electrical appliances on their head to depict the troubles they go through and how they end up spending money on repairs of the gadgets due to the unstable power supply.
Others wielded placards with inscriptions “Let Krachi enjoy the national cake”, “Krachi has suffered since 1964 till now”, “Mr. Prez, Krachi begs for stable light”, and “Dumsor must go now!!”
Some of the placards also read “Our businesses are dying”, “Krachi has sacrificed for the whole country, why this?”, “Is Krachi not part of Ghana“ and “We need a substation Now!!”
The residents rounded up the peaceful demonstration at the premises of the Krachi West District Assembly where a petition was presented for onward submission to the Energy Minister.
Leader of the Kete-Krachi Youth, Makafui Ntoso, chronicled how Krachi was affected by the the construction of the Akosombo Dam, but is unable to enjoy ‘the fruits of its labor’.
“We have suffered for long, why must we sacrifice for others to enjoy”, he quizzed.
He condemned what he described as a “long disregard” for their numerous complaints to authorities of NEDCo.
“We are tired, our patients have been stretched to the limit and we can no longer bear the lack of concern for our problem. We feel neglected and think NEDCo does not take us seriously”, he said.
Mr. Ntoso implored the power distribution company to ensure regular and efficient power supply to the affected areas and to also establish two or more substations between Yendi and Kete-krachi.
He cautioned officials of NEDCo in the enclave not to embark on any disconnection exercise until their grievances are resolved.
The Krachi East District Chief Executive, Emmanuel Kajal Jalulah, asserted that the erratic power supply does not only bother on economic issues but threatens the security of the area.
“A chief was shot during one of the light outs in the district. I believe that could not have happened if the lights had not gone off”, he explained.
He promised to lobby the relevant authorities to ensure the problems are fixed, suggesting there may be a need for an overhaul of some of the lines coupled with the construction of substations.
He acknowledged that extending the national electricity grid to other parts of the district and population growth could account for the inadequate power supply.
The residents have, however, vowed to hit the streets again if nothing is done after two weeks.
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