A couple of days ago, I rang a relative in Ghana to have just a usual conversation on random issues that a typical weekend telephone call would give rise to. As a result of the recurring inter-continental time difference, it was around 21:00 GMT at my end and 19:00 GMT in Ghana, in the course of our conversation, she said that everyone was asleep by then, so I was a little bit taken aback and wondered why everyone would be asleep by that time, so I enquired and her response was that there was no electricity power or in a contemporary educated Ghanaian English, the lights were off. This prompted me to pen down this piece on the current power crisis facing the country.
Upon the announcement of the low-shedding exercise in 2008: when every community had an apportioned but very familiar schedule with regard to its own electricity supply. Almost everyone was well-informed about the exercise and how we would be affected, as at then, temporarily till it was resolved. At least everyone knew when he/she would have electricity supply.
Later, as a precautionary measure, the construction of the Bui Dam was announced and it was promised that it’d reduce if not fully, partially our dependence on the Akosombo Dam which was commissioned by the late Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in 1965. Despite the commissioning of the Bui Dam in 2013, the country still faces electricity shortages which is having a dampening effect on the livelihood of the ordinary Ghanaian.
Not too long ago I heard that some local musicians and actors have been advocating for change and feasible solutions to the present power crisis which has engulfed the country. Some people have misinterpreted them and have gone to the extent of affiliating them with various political parties. This has created a whole hullabaloo on its own, birthing derogatory and squalid remarks, even from people in higher positions. That came certainly as no surprise to me, in a country where partisan politics overrule ‘common sense’ and the need for progressive thinking. Ghana has been in the news recently for all but disheartening reasons; firstly, the IMF bailout plans and now the power crisis. The average Ghanaian is looking for improvement in his livelihood. No one is expecting everything to happen overnight but the least the incumbent government could do is to lay out feasible plans to tackle this and many other issues confronting the nation.
The power crisis is having a debilitating impact on our image as a country, scaring off potential investors while small-and-medium scale enterprises are being dragged off to collapse. Everything in Ghana is but political. ‘Common Sense’ has to be our guard if we are to make conscious progress or perhaps aim at bringing improvement to our livelihood. If we allow ourselves to be derailed from the actual facts of the matter, then we are doomed and it is certainly the future generation who will bare the shocking brunt of our concerted inaction. We should not allow petty partisan politics to overshadow the disheartening state of our country.
As a concerned citizen, I hope that relevant and feasible measures could be laid out in the shortest possible time, to utter an iota of confidence to the masses in light of this despicable phase we are all experiencing as a nation. Our independence would be meaningless if we fail to correctly steer the affairs of our nation while everyone remains but sad-browed.