EDITORIAL: WHY HAS ‘DUMSOR’ BECOME A NATIONAL CRISIS?

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Ghanaians are currently battling with power outages (termed locally as ‘Dumsor’) and calling on the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to make public a nationwide timetable for citizens to know when the lights go off and come on.

 

The government of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, has politicized the electricity problem, and the ECG, refused to adhere to calls for a timetable by the people.

 

But why has a project, started as far back as the 1980s, under a World Bank-sponsored program in collaboration with the then Jerry John Rawlings led PNDC administration to extend electricity to all parts of the country, now become an albatross around the neck of every administration after the Rawlings PNDC/NDC regime?

 

‘Dumsor’ has become an albatross of successive administrations because the Kufuor administration, after taking over from the Rawlings administration in 2000, politicized the issue, blaming his predecessor, for expanding electricity to villages without first dealing with power generation before leaving office.

 

Ghana after independence, had built the Volta River Authority (Akosombo Hydro Electric Power) in the 1960s and because the country’s population then was small, the CPP administration led by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, contracted VALCO to take almost half the power generation from the Akosombo Hydro project.

 

Unfortunately for Ghana, the population increased and the government’s expansion program of extending electricity to villages, at the same time continuing the CPP’s industrialization program, did not help matters.

 

Electricity consumption increased with the expansion, the Akosombo Hydro Electric Power could no longer supply the needs of the country, hence ‘Dumsor’.

 

‘Dumsor’ became popular during the John Mahama-led NDC administration when the then-opposition NPP coined the word ‘Dumsor’ for the frequent power outages at the time but the NDC administration did all it could to solve the problem by bringing in some power generation companies to help bring to an end, once and for all the power outages (‘Dumsor’).

 

After the Rawlings NDC, and World Bank electricity expansion program, power generation became a major problem due to insufficient power generation and that was why the Mahama NDC administration sought to increase power generation as a solution to the power cuts (‘Dumsor’).

 

The current problem (‘Dumsor’), is not due to power generation because Ghana currently has enough power generation, what seems to be the problem is the lack of funds to buy the required power from the Independent Power Producers (IPP).

 

The country currently owes the Independent Power Producers (IPP) millions of Dollars and is been trying to negotiate payments in instalments.

 

Source – James Kojo Boateng (A Freelancer)

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