A five member committee set up by the Volta River Authority(VRA) and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company(NEDCO) has met with the youth of Damongo over the abrupt power flatuation that happened a fortnight ago.
The youth were represented by the leadership of the Damongo Branch of the Gonjaland Youth Association(GLYA) and its sister youth group,the Damongo Youth Parliament(DYP).
The committee is chaired by Mr.John Teiko,Chief Technician Engineer.Other members are:Mr.Edward Nii Aryeetey,Chief Technician Engineer(member);Ing.David Dagbui,Electrical Engineer(Member);Mr.Frank Agbarti,Assistant Chief Technician Engineer(Member), with Mr . Emmanuel Baba,the Damongo Area manager for VRA being a co-opted member.
The committee interacted extensively with the youth fronts.It has the mandate to investigate into circumstances that led to the high voltage transmission that caused abrupt power flatuation in Damongo and its environs on 24th April,2020,and the damages therefrom.
The Secretary to the committee said even though they received so many complaints,the greatest of concern that prompted them to act came from the youth fronts of the Damongo Branch of the Gonjaland Youth Association and its sister youth group,Damongo Youth Parliament.
He said as a cooperate entity,their soul purpose is to serve the customer to the best of ability,adding that,”without you the customer,we are nothing”.
Mr.John Teiko in his welcome address apologised to the youth over the unfortunate incident and encouraged the leadership to help the committee come out with a comprehensive report which would be a “win-win for all.
According to him,the essence of the investigation is not just to find out the cause of the incident,but to forestall any future occurrences from both the technical and social point of view.
He invited comments from the youth fronts on how the incident occurred and the damages caused.
The chairman of the Damongo Branch of the Gonjaland Youth Association who doubles as the youth chief,Nyiribiwura Yakubu Jaga,lamented the extent of damages the incident had caused residents of the district.
He said but for timely intervention of leadership of the youth in managing tensions, the story would have been different from the enraged public.
The youth chief reiterated that the extent of damages caused cannot be quantified.
Secretary to the Damongo Youth Parliament and Assembly man for Canteen,Mr.Ananpansah B Abraham,narrated that the regrettable incident which merit compensation from VRA/NEDCO happened in the full glare of his very eyes.
According to him,he was watching television with his friends when all of a sudden,he noticed smoke emanating from the television set.
The lights suddenly went off in a scary manner and he instructed a colleague to switch off the main power supply.Minutes after,he got inundated with calls from electorates,friends and people complaining about damages to their electrical appliances as a result of the sudden spike in power supply to their homes.Some houses caught fire in the process coupled with severe damages to electrical appliances,he added.
Whilst calling of VRA to always give prior notice before putting out lights, he placed a strong call on the body to urgently fix a damaged transformer in his electoral area,Canteen which has since kept the area where the West Gonja Hospital is situated in darkness for days.
Mr, Kelly Gbolo,Madam Alijata and hon.Mary who are all executive members of the Gonjaland youth association reiterated the need for VRA/NEDCO to appropriately compensate residents.
They also called on the corporate body to maintain close ties and strengthen its communication with customers, since VRA/NEDCO did not come out with any apology after the incident.
Hon.Adamu Zomnura Shaibu of Damongo Youth parliament,Mr.Musah Majeed and Mr.Sumaila sought for explanation about the 50% free power supply by the president.It was explained that March consumption has been used as a benchmark to do the calculation and that all Ghanaians are entitled to the package.
The National P.R.O. of the GLYA,Mr.Mufti Habid emphasized on the need for VRA/NEDCO to deploy effective ways of communicating with its clients by employing the local media houses as well as social media.
The committee applauded the youth for invaluable contributions and promised to come out with a comprehensive report that will reflect the situation on the ground.
On the issue of compensation,they admonished leadership of the youth to manage the expectations of the people, further noting that any decision to that effect would depend on the outcome of the investigation and what they have heard from the youth fronts.
The Damongo Area manager owing to the concerns raised by the Assembly Man of Canteen,Mr .Abraham Ananpansah,was charged to move in and fix the Canteen situation with immediate effect.