The Energy Commission has organised a forum to educate local government assembly members within the Sagnerigu Municipality of the Northern Region about the newly introduced electrical wiring regulations and guidelines in a bid to safeguard lives and properties.
The Electrical Wiring Regulations 2011, (L.I. 2008) was passed by Parliament into law to ensure the safety of persons, livestock and other property from hazards that arise from the presence, distribution and use of electrical energy.
According to the Commission, the use of uncertified electricians and substandard cables damage electrical gadgets – a leading cause of fire outbreaks.
Speaking at the forum at the Assembly Conference Hall in Sagnerigu, an Assistant Programmes Officer for Energy Commission, Samuel Owusu, said the new guidelines, will ensure that certified professionals would be issued with seals, identification cards and electrical installation certification by the commission.
“Internal wiring and certification of processes is the responsibility of the Commission, and anything that deals with external is within the jurisdiction of another entity. Electrical contractors shall have registered numbers traceable to each professional in the field to ensure that all households are wired by a competent person with quality materials to prevent any mishap,” he said.
“When the certified electrician is done with the work, there is the need for the certified electrician to call on the certified inspectors to assess the work done before getting power connected to the facility,” he added.
He disclosed that the energy sector regulator has started training and providing license and identity cards to qualified and certified electricians across the country after passing an examination conducted by the commission. He urged the assembly members to ensure that only such persons are allowed to engage in any electrical wiring in their communities.
Mr. Owusu further stated that the Energy Commission continues to liaise with the Ghana Standard Authority to inspect electrical cables which are sold on the market.
An electrical inspector for Tamale West, Moro Ibrahim, in an interview with the B&FT said the lack of knowledge by the communities about the standards of the cable and the certified personnel makes their work very difficult but he believes with the routine education, many will come to understand the need to use proper electrical wiring.
He added that lack of resources also impedes their ability to inspect ongoing projects. He, therefore, appealed for support from government and other agencies in this regard.
Another inspector, Ibrahim Mohammed, said most people go for the substandard electrical wires and gadgets because they are less expensive but warned that, “these cause fire outbreaks and consume much more power in our homes.”
The assembly members present expressed their readiness to work with the Commission to ensure that only qualified personnel are engaged in the electrical wiring in the communities.