Mafi Agbadzikope residents still in darkness 5 years after gov’t provided Electricity

Five years after government extended electricity to Mafi Agbadzikope, a farming community in the Central Tongu District of the Volta region, residents continue to live in darkness.

The reason is that electric meters have not been supplied to them. This is despite the residents making required payments for the meters.

Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo who visited Mafi Agbadzikope reports that the dusty roads to the community are awash with electrical cables on poles, but there is no power in the lines.

Work to extend electricity to the community began in 2005 under the Kufuor Administration, through a Self-Help Electrification Project which was completed in 2010. Residents sank a lot of money, time and energy into the project.

They provided materials for the construction of the poles and accommodation for workers with the firm that undertook the project. But all of that investment has not been fruitful thus far.

The residents showed the news team receipts of payments made to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) as far back as January 2010 by a list of about 100 households for the meters. However, despite numerous follow-ups, the people are yet to get electricity in their homes.

The community is always pitch dark at night. Residents say this is affecting the delivery of quality education to children.

“We are suffering here, we are suffering…our children don’t have light to learn. They just sleep. All that happens here in Ghana, we don’t hear anything because we don’t have light to watch TV,” one resident said angrily,” one resident told Joseph.

Others complain the situation is making it impossible for them to expand their business activities.

“When we have electricity, we can also have a small refrigerator and put pure water in it and be selling it to get small, small money to pay our children’s school fees,” another resident said.

They say numerous follow-ups to ECG’s office have proved futile.

“We try our best from here to Sogakope ECG office, even our letter reached minister for energy, but nothing has been done to help us,” another resident said.

Assembly Member for the area Julius Karl Fieve says ECG has been unfair to residents.

“They will tell you that on paper they have provided meters to this community. They have given it to somebody else. And even the person they cannot mention the name of that person. So, for us, it is just an old ‘ananse’ story they have always been telling us,” said Fieve.

Meanwhile, ECG says it cannot be blamed for the delays in the release of the electric meters to the community.

According to the Volta Regional Public Relations Officer of the ECG, Fred Baimbill-Johnson, the Self-Help Electrification Project is solely an initiative of the former Ministry of Energy and now Ministry of Power.

“This is a project that is undertaken by the ministry… We are not the ones who provide the meters,” he told Joy News in a later interview.

He said ECG plays only a facilitation role while the ministry itself appoints a contractor to fix the meters for the beneficiary communities free of charge.

According to Mr. Baimbill-Johnson, the earlier payments made by the residents were just commitment fees in order to benefit from the Power Ministry’s free meters.

He says the Volta Regional ECG office has sent three reminders to the Ministry since 2013 to provide the meters for 89 households in Mafi Agbadzikope, which have not received any response.

Mr. Baimbill-Johnson, however, says the ECG intends engaging the community to make proposals for residents to pay fresh amounts to get meters directly from the ECG.


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