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Illegal power theft on the rise in Bawku due to conflict

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The Bawku conflict, a long-standing ethnic conflict in the Bawku municipality of the Upper East Region has created an environment where people engage in illegal connections for electricity. The conflict has been characterised by violence, tension, and mistrust between the Kusasis and the Mamprusis, two ethnic groups in the area.

Due to the security challenges in the area, the Area Manager of the Volta River Authority (VRA)/Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) in the Upper East Region, Ing. Eugene Odoi Addo, has said the company has observed an increase in revenue losses from 20 to 39 percent in the Bawku township in recent times.

“And that is indicative of the fact that there have been increases in tampering of the service connection and we are unable to curtail it because we cannot do mass revenue mobilisation to disconnect people engaged in illegal connection” 

Even though the authority has staff in the Bawku Municipality, the Area Manager said it behoves the support from the regional office for assistance to carry out a mass illegal disconnection exercise. 

In October this year, the authority embarked on a debt recovery drive throughout the entire NEDCo operational area targeted at retrieving revenue owed to the company. For the safety of the workers, Ing. Addo said VRA/NEDCo staff only targeted institutions that owed the authority a lot of money.

Ing. Addo said illegal connections deny the authority the needed revenue to properly serve the public and called on the public to support the authority with information on people or institutions engaged in illegal power for actions taken. 

“We usually do protect the identities of whistleblowers, and we have ways of giving information. We have a WhatsApp platform; you can send the information, and we will act on it. We have an incentive for people who report and when you report every illegal connection, we will give you 100 cedis.”   

The VRA/NEDCo Area Manager disclosed this while addressing the press in Bolgatanga after the authority embarked on an exercise to retrieve some monies owed to the company. Ing. Addo revealed that it was able to retrieve 8 million cedis out of 165 million cedis in debt from customers in the Upper East region. 

A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Bolgatanga|Ghana

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