Monday, February 16, 2009

Guest Blogger E.K.Bensah writes...: Great Expectations Non-fulfilled of 24/7 Electricity

When you get off that plane to a humid Accra and are immediately whisked off to an air-conditioned airport terminal, you could be forgiven for thinking this is a foretaste of what is to come in the country!

It's only when you eventually check out of a hotel and, possibly, into a relative's abode when you realise there's a different reality altogether with regard to 24/7 electricity.

First of all, the term of 24/7 electricity is a non-starter in this peaceful country of ours; this is simply because it does not flow on a twenty-four hour basis!

If you make the mistake of having secured rented accommodation on the Spintex Road, and therefore believe that this translates to regular electricity, then more fool you! This is because even in these so-called affluent areas (that have as many roads replete with potholes than inside Accra), the electricity provision can be akin to disco lights in a club--intermittent.

In March 2006, a day or two before the 49th anniversary of the country, the transformer on one of the Estates that both a ghanablogger and I live on blew, leaving the Estate and its residents in darkness for a good week! Those who were able to procure generators got them; those who chose to manage without had a lot of work to do as far as their food was concerned. The origin of this blown-transformer had to do with insufficient provision by the owner of the Estate who had built more houses than the power could afford!

While there are apocryphal stories of the sister Estate of Regimanuel having stand-by generators for the Estate, it's clear for many of us to see when walking by ,when there is a "lights-off", that their lights are on!

Even if we forget the load-management that occurred -- much to the chagrin of Ghanaians--from August 2006 for almost a year, we cannot ever take for granted that Ghana's electricity will daily be a 24-hr affair, and so a generator is not needed!

Good luck!


  1. Not to say it is a good situation but Lagos is worse. And at least you live in an estate. Last night when i got home, the whole area was bathed in darkness and with no security guards manning our ungated ashale-botwe community, i was afraid someone would jump out from the dark and do me sometin.

  2. Esi, I take it this community is, what, akin to an Estate?;-) Where were the security guards? Thanks for posting--but, ohmigod, there were too many exclamation marks! Am I that hyper?! Am I?!?!

  3. Nigeria's electricity company used to be called National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), and Nigerians came up with their own meaning of NEPA- Never Expect Power Always
    NEPA was changed to Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and creative Nigerians have come up with two slogans:
    PHCN- Problem Has Changed Name
    PHCN- Please Hold Candles in Nigeria