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Garu, Tempane residents hold mammoth demonstration to protest failing power conditions

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Residents of the Garu and Tempane districts are dissatisfied about the power situation within the twin districts. Residents took to the street to register their displeasure. In a petition to the two DCEs for the two districts, the residents explained that they had been treated unfairly by the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo).

“The least our leaders can do for us in the Garu-Tempane area is to give us a stable power supply that will enable us to engage in our economic activities. For the past four years, it is as if the people of the Garu-Tempane area have offended someone in the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO), for which we are being punished for our wrongdoing. Before I talk about the devastating effects of the frequent power outages, kindly indulge me in talking about the difficulties we go through before acquiring electricity in our homes.”

“Acquiring an electricity metre in Garu-Tempane has become a matter of whom you know or the highest bidder. People have applied for metres for the last three years and do not even know the outcome of their applications. Another issue that borders us is the cost of extending electricity to our homes. It has become so costly that many homes are without electricity in the area. To crown everything, there are the frequent, unannounced power outages we have experienced in the area for the past four years. Since 2018, we, the people of the Garu-Tempane area, have not known anything called stable power during rainy seasons. As soon as the rain sets in, we experience power outages, even if there is no rain. To quote a very good friend of mine, “Even if a bat urinates, it is enough to cause a power outage.”

According to the residents, the power situation has brought them untold hardships.

“Insecurity: this year alone, since the problem resurfaced in March, there have been several occasions that people’s stores have been broken into, people’s motorbikes taken from them, just to mention but a few. On April 14, 2023, during a power outage, a group of unknown gunmen besieged a popular youth joint, destroying a motorbike belonging to one of the members. Within that same period, about two days later, a young man was killed and his motorbike taken away by robbers. Not leaving out most mobile money agents whose business capital has gone down the drain by robbers. We do not mean to blame all the incidents on NEDCO, but all that we are saying is that if there is always power in the nights when most of these atrocities take place, we, the citizens, will also be able to take care of our own security. Sir, as a result of these frequent power outages, economic activities have been grounded to a standstill in the area. cold store operators and butchers cannot even go about their normal business any longer. Passing through the Garu market and any other market in the area, one cannot even get fresh oxygen to breathe because of rotten meat and fish coming out of refrigerators. We even have most of the meat sellers and cold store operators with us who are here to tell their stories.”

“In all these, managers of NEDCO have failed to analyse the health implications this has on us. Garu-Tempane area does not have a single government facility that has a resident medical doctor. The facilities with medical doctors are private facilities whose capacities are not strong enough to enable them to purchase a power plan. It is sad to note that pregnant women who require caesarean sessions are all subject to this inhumane treatment from NEDCO. Imagine what will happen if there is a power outage in the middle of a surgical procedure. Due to the unstable nature of power supply, hospitals that could operate surgeries in Garu are always compelled to transfer patients to the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital. In the same way, it is extremely difficult for health facilities to keep some drugs that need to be refrigerated at a certain temperature level. There is so much to say about how this canker is affecting the health sector, hence endangering the lives of the people.”

The residents demanded that the situation be fixed immediately. 

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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