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Businesses and livelihoods are being destroyed by Dumsor

Erratic power supply in Ghana hits businesses, livelihoods


Ghanaian neighborhoods, including the eastern port city of Tema and its environs, have been grappling with prolonged, intermittent power outages over the past few weeks. This erratic electricity supply is part of a nationwide power crisis that is impacting not only residential consumers but also businesses, both small and large.

In Ashaiman, a town near Tema, the power outage has left many welders and car sprayers, who rely on electricity for their businesses, idle. As a result, 35-year-old welder Yehusa Abdul-Malik has suffered income loss.

“A customer gave me a job to make door frames and windows for him using metal. I promised to complete the work within a week. However, due to the power outages, I was unable to start, and he became infuriated and took the job to another person,” Abdul-Malik said.

Napolean Ahiable, a 51-year-old barber and resident of Tema, described the power crisis as a nightmare, leading to a drastic reduction in his income. Operating his barbering business for over a decade, Ahiable said that he could barely maintain his home and meet other expenditures because of the crisis.

“Sometimes, I work for only two days a week, and even within those days, there are intermittent outages, hence affecting business. I have to turn clients away because there is no electricity in my shop. This has reduced the amount of money I earn, and I find it difficult to feed my household well,” he said.

Ahiable, who employed two others in his shop, urged the Ghanaian authorities to find a permanent solution to the crisis to ameliorate the suffering of many others.

“I want to appeal to the government to do everything possible to fix the problem for us so that we can have a stable power supply in order to keep us in business,” Ahiable added.

Adjo Enyonam, a 33-year-old cold store operator at Ashaiman, also lamented the negative impact the power crisis has had on her business. According to the mother of two, the power crisis has caused her to record losses due to unannounced outages on her premises.

“The recent unannounced power outages are really affecting me. The fish stock amounting to about 500 U.S. dollars that I had kept in the refrigerator went bad when I returned the following day and had to throw them away. That’s money going down the drain,” said Enyonam.

“To make matters worse, I bought a new refrigerator recently, and the intermittent power supply had destroyed it because I had no stabilizer to protect it. The outages are really biting hard at us, and the earlier the government solves them, the better for all of us,” she added.

Nightlife in Tema and its environs has been characterized by total darkness, as the usual bustling activities in the evenings are virtually nonexistent. Most pubs and eateries, among others, have shut down their operations or had to close earlier than usual.

Most parts of the West African country have been experiencing unannounced power outages, with consumers calling on the power distribution company, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), to provide a load-shedding timetable to enable people to plan their activities regarding power usage.

The local electricity company has blamed the power cuts on overloaded transformers, but some experts suggest it is partly due to the country’s inability to pay private electricity suppliers who provide the bulk of Ghana’s electricity.

Herbert Krapa, the chairman of the governing board of the ECG, assured Ghanaians on Wednesday that the ongoing power crisis would be resolved soon.

“The government has put in place immediate measures to ensure the return of an uninterrupted supply of power to consumers. I can, therefore, state that the unfortunate power challenges Ghanaians are facing should be over in the next few days,” he said in a Facebook post.

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