Power Minister Kwabena Donkor’s attempt to distinguish between load shedding and ‘dumsor’ has left him entangled in a controversy over his popular promise to resolve the persistent power cuts.
Although the Twi word ‘dumsor’ (meaning erratic power supply) is used interchangeably with load shedding, the Power Minister told GBC reporter Ibrahim Kwarteng, there is a difference.
By that singular pronouncement, Kwabena Donkor stirred controversy with some suggesting, the minister may be attempting to shift the goal posts.
Explaining his linguistic dilemma, Kwabena Donkor told Joy FM's Super Morning Show Thursday, load shedding "arises when power supply to communities is curtailed because of inadequate power generation”.
This, therefore, excludes power cuts that may arise from faulty and damaged transformers, he clarified.
Giving an example, he said five transformers in Tema have been destroyed because some unscrupulous persons want to steal oil and some metal components.
This has left some parts of the city in darkness. In other situations, an overloaded transformer may trigger a power cut. He described these two scenarios as “localized outages”.
“There is very little we can do about that” he explained.The minister does not want Ghanaians to blame him for all the problems in the energy sector.
His specific resolution is to ensure that Ghana has more megawatts than it needs to keep power supply consistent.
Ghanaians have been encouraged to look forward to the end to load shedding by 31 December 2015. The Power Minister, who made this promise on February 2, has vowed to resign if he is unable to achieve this target.
With 42 days to the end of the year, there is a growing undercurrent of pessimism that the Minister can save the power situation and consequently his job.
Power barges from Turkey are in a race against time to dock at Tema in Ghana by 22 November and set up to add 225 megawatts to the national grid.
Kwabena Donkor appealed to media practitioners to help the Power Ministry explain to consumers the exact implication of his promise to end load shedding.
He remained defiant that “by the grace of God” and barring any “unforeseen” circumstances, the erratic supply of power caused by generation shortfalls will end by December 31, 2015.