Intermittent power cuts expected .…as MiDA upgrades power stations, revamps systems

Some parts of Accra, Tamale and Kasoa – including major markets and busy business centres – are set to experience power outages, the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has said.

The outages, which the Authority describes as ‘painful but necessary’, will begin in March 2020 and are meant to make way for the construction of primary power substations at Pokuase, Legon and Kasoa; as well as replacement of obsolete transformers and electrical installations, and installation of new ones at 10 selected markets and economic enclaves in Accra, Tamale and some other communities.

The selected markets and economic enclaves in Accra include Kaneshie, Agbogboloshie, Makola, Dansoman, Madina, Accra Timber Market and Nii Note; while those in Tamale, the Northern Region capital, are Tamale Central Market, Lamashegu and Tamale Timber Market.

Meanwhile, residents and businesses located around Pokuase, Legon, 37 Military Hospital and Kasoa and their surrounding communities – where construction of power substations are ongoing – will also experience scheduled power cuts of between two and eight hours a day, MiDA said.

MiDA’s CEO, Martin Eson-Benjamin, said the outages could be seen as ill-timed because it is an election year, and emphasised that they must not be misinterpreted as ‘dumsor’.

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“Let me emphasise here that our major implementation phase has fallen into an election year. This could be seen as ill-timed, or well-timed, depending on who is commenting on our projects. On our part, we have a duty to do all that is possible to get work done successfully and the money fully spent before the Compact ends 18 months from today.”

MiDA, which has 18 months to implement the Power Compact under the Millennium Challenge Accounts, says the aforementioned activities have been identified as high priority projects under the Compact. It however said there will be scheduled outages in order to make way for work to continue.

In all, the Authority is expected to spend a total of US$331.2million between now and September 2021 – which is the date the mandate of the Power Compact that MiDA is being implementing will end.

The Millennium Challenge Account is providing US$308.2million of the total amount, with the remaining US$23million being Counterpart Funds from the government of Ghana.

The projects, which are seen by MiDA as crucial to the economy, when completed will ensure sustainable and reliable supply of power to the beneficiary areas and to major health facilities like the 37 Military Hospital and University of Ghana Teaching Hospital.

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Mr. Eson-Benjamin, who says he will not yield to political pressure because it is an election year, indicated that: “There is a time for everything, and this is the time for us to deliver that benefit to Ghanaians. It could be painful and difficult, but at the end of the day we opt to do what is good for our country.”

He added, “We shall therefore need the understanding and support of everyone, despite the vibrant political environment that will characterise this year and during the closing months of next year”.

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