Scores of residents in the Lower Manya and Yilo Krobo in the Eastern Region who have been cut from the national grid have narrated how living without electricity for two weeks feels.
The two municipalities have been without power for two weeks following a disagreement between the community and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) over the installation of pre-paid meters.
The people in the area have since 2014 engaged in a tussle with ECG over the installation of prepaid meters due to what they described as overbilling among others.
The impasse led to several protests and vandalism against ECG staff and property in Somanya and a further resolution by a youth group not to pay power bills anymore.
The ECG had to take their power two weeks ago to compel the residents to accept the prepaid metres, but the development is affecting the local economy in some key towns in the area.
TV XYZ reporter Piesie Okrah who visited the area reported that Somanya, Atua, Agomenya and Odumasi Krobo which are busy areas in the 2 municipalities have been hit hard by the power cut.
At Odumasi Krobo,the capital of Lower Manya, businesses are seen relying on generator sets to power their electrical gadgets to do business.
A local pharmacy owner at Odumasi said the situation was worrying and affecting his daily sales.
“We have to rely on generators to power our fridges at this pharmacy. I buy GHS 200 fuel to power the generator and I have been doing that since the power went off. It is very sad and the authorities must do something about it,”he said.
An opinion leader in the area, Godwin Oblanda told Piesie Okrah that his business was suffering as a result of the power cut.
“The ECG should be condemned for what they are making us go through. I have a shop and I always have to buy fuel about GHS 200 to power my fridges in the shop,” he fumed.
“We the youth here are angry and we are becoming impatient about this situation. The ECG overbilled us and later brought us huge electricity bills but they have not talked about and want to take those huge monies through the installation of the prepaid metres to get their monies back. We don’t oppose the prepaid metres but they should sensitize us well,” Oblanda argued.
Fuel stations in the area were seen relying heavily on diesel to power their generators to sell fuel to customers.
However, at Turom, a surburb of Somanya in Yilo Krobo,a manager at the Goil fuel station who gave his name as Lloyd said he spends GHS 800 cedis to power his generator and at the time had spent GHS 8,000 on fuel.
“When we were using power from ECG, we usually will spend between 400 and 500 cedis a month to run this business,” he said.
Lloyd said he would shut down for while to save his profit if power was not restored on the twelve day.
Currently, the Krobo land has been without power for 15 days and the impact is being felt heavily.
Last week, while adressing a press conference in Somanya, the Divisional Chief of Okper, Nene Anyeenorgu Teye Agor IX, said the people had no problem with the ECG and would, therefore, continue to support the company in its prepaid meter installation activities.
“We want to state categorically and emphatically that no citizen of Yilo Krobo has, on record, ever resisted or confronted or obstructed the ECG in its line of duty since the company started the prepaid meter installation exercise some few weeks ago,” he said.
According to him, there had not been any reported incident of attack or threat or difficulty encountered by staff of the ECG by residents of Yilo Krobo because “Yilo Krobo citizens are law -abiding and will never do anything untoward to disturb the peace”.
Nene Agor said the people of Yilo Krobo felt disappointed, deceived and saddened by the decision of the ECG to indefinitely shut down power, not only in communities where some people had disrupted ECG activities but also extended it to Yilo Krobo, where the people were always cooperating with the company in the deployment of prepaid meters.
He added, “The effect of this general disconnection is more harmful and costly to the country than one can imagine.’’