One electricity feeder system designated for the whole Sissala East zone has been explained by power distributer NEDCO (Northern Electricity Distribution Company), as being responsible for the perennial and persistent power outages in the area.
“Any fault detected either through bad weather condition or birds in flight goes back to the common line that feeds the entire area,” Mr Ernest Bonti, the Deputy Regional Manager of NEDCO, said at a stakeholder consultation in Tumu, the Sissala East Municipal capital.
“Some of the lines are affected due to bad weather conditions such as windstorms and the single feeder that ensures the system automatically trips and this affects all the lines”.
He said management intends to bring in 3,634 stations where feeders would be provided for at Tumu, Welembelle, Gwollu, and an international line connecting Leo in Burkina Faso.
“We believe next year by now the perennial problem of outages will be solved,” he adding that, “The feeder system will allow each section to minimize the outages”.
Mr Bonti acknowledged complaints of incessant power cuts that plunges many communities into darkness and damages household electrical appliances and equipment.
He assured the people that the construction of a sub-station would end the power outages.
Mr Bonti also advised the population to always seek services of qualified technicians to work on their electrical gadgets.
For over two years, the people of Sissala East have been grappling with daily outages associated with damages to electrical appliances often blamed on a high voltage or power surge.
Mr Karim Nanyua, the Municipality Chief Executive (MCE), said: “The suffering that residents are experiencing is due to the frequent power outages”.
He said many people use electricity in their daily lives ranging from domestic to economic activities so any outage badly affected their lives.
“I will be very happy if the lights go off in this meeting for you to see the severity of the problem,” he said amidst laughter form the audience, adding: “The power outage is slowing productivity and needs to change”.
Mr Eugene Odoi Addo, the Upper West Regional Area Manager for NEDCO, assured the people look into their complaints but urged them to also pay their electricity bills to enable the company offer better services.
“For the past three years the Upper West Region alone has had about 400 communities connected to the national grid, but this expansion has further exposed the network to the outages being experienced,” he added.
He announced plans by the authority to build another sub-station in Tumu that would introduce feeders for Tumu, Welembellle, and Gwollu; adding that this required substantial money which has compelled the company to seek for Korean Eximbank support.
Mr Nat Baena, the Director of Operations in charge of Network, also told residents that: “Your sentiments have been noted and GRIDCO will try very hard to resolve the challenges”.
“I want to appeal to the people of Tumu to be more patient as we seek solutions to resolve the challenge of electricity supply to the area”.
Residents were advised to use devices such as stabilizers and automatic voltage switcher to protect their appliances against power surges.