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Ghanaians To Endures Three Weeks Of Power Cuts

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Power cuts are expected to last at least another three weeks in parts of Ghana because of a shortage of supplies from Nigeria.

A statement from the state power firm said a temporary shutdown for maintenance works at an unnamed Nigerian gas supplier was to blame.

Ghanaians have endured years of regular power shortages and they even have their own nickname – “dumsor” – which means “on and off” in the Akan language.

Power demand has steadily increased over the past two decades, partly due to rapid urbanisation and population growth.

To end the shortfall, Ghana’s government will have to stump up around $400m (£315m) to buy gas and liquid fuel for power plants.

A growing debt may be behind the power shortages that started early this year.

The state power company, the Electricity Company of Ghana  owes about $1.2bn to private energy producers, which also include Nigerian suppliers.

Last July, private suppliers threatened to shut down operations over the arrears.

People in Togo and Benin are also suffering gas shortages, according to information in a statement from the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo).

“The current situation is entirely out of WAPCo’s control,” the company added.

Public anger has been growing in recent days. In response, the Electricity Company of Ghana said on Thursday in a joint statement with the Ghana Grid Company:

“We wish to assure the public that we are collaborating with other stakeholders  to ensure minimal impact of the reduction in gas supply on consumers.”

The power companies said it would pread the available supplies as efficiently as possible in Ghana, they say they will carry out load-shedding. The two companies had previously disagreed over who was responsible for providing a schedule of this kind.

The companies pledged to manage the disruptions effectively to ensure essential services were not interrupted throughout the period of reduced gas supply.

It comes barely two months after President Nana Akufo-Addo curbed electricity exports to Togo, Burkina Faso and Benin following supply challenges.

The companies pledged to manage the disruptions effectively to ensure essential services were not interrupted throughout the period of reduced gas supply.

In recent years, power shortages have worsened as the country grapples with its worst economic crisis in a decade.

Ghana, one of the world’s biggest producers of both gold and cocoa, has in the last few years become heavily reliant on gas as a major source of energy for electricity generation.

The country gets much of its electricity from hydro and thermal sources, but these are often poorly maintained.

BBC

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