Open Letter to ECG/PURC: Residents of Prampram and its environs are not puppets to be punished with ‘dumsor’
I am an angry resident. As I type this letter, the entire Prampram and neighbouring communities and villages have been without electricity, since 4 pm on Monday. Nobody has bothered to offer residents an explanation(s) of the situation. At the moment, gadgets, essential food items, medications and more, have all been ruined.
This is not the first time the power has been put off in this part of town. Last week Tuesday was a perfect example. The power was put off until the following day. There was no strain of explanation given to us, the residents. We braced through the heat like that, whilst those expected to offer us the explanations were snoring in their air conditions.
Why do people who have the power to influence lives in the right way, prefer to see others suffer? Is that why we take up positions in such sectors? These power outages have been going on for almost three months if my recollection of the timelines is correct. Though some of us take to social media to publicly moan, not even a grain of a word has been offered as to why we must endure this indignity, despite paying more for power.
I have personally reached out to some friends within both organisations and the explanations have always been the same, or almost similar. I may be able to call and get some reasons, though I sometimes struggle to accept them, but what about the many who do not have access to such persons within the entities? It is depressingly sad to think after working so hard and bracing through the Kpone barrier and Dawhenya traffic, you walk into a community enveloped in darkness, most parts of each week.
The Electricity Company of Ghana under its current leadership is doing great work; smoking out defaulters of bills, connectors of illegal power, and more. Ironically, this same aggression is not being felt by the People of Prampram and its environs, who almost feel like they are being punished for no reason. In one of my rants on social media, I asked the entity to publish the #dumsor timetable, so we can prepare and adjust our lives accordingly. But an insider who reached out to me said there was nothing like #dumsor, but could not offer me the specific reason why we had to sleep in the dark on that very day, even after more than 10 hours and counting.
The ECG has not been fair to us, the consumers. I am already aware of a peaceful protest by most young people in the town to the offices of the ECG, to register their anger against the situation. We are in the process of serving the Police a notice in that regard. However, I hope we may not have to get to that. A believe a simple communication from ECG will douse the existing anger within residents.
The truth is, the lack of communication from ECG is pissing most people off. Why are we being treated like animals, one of my neighbours recently asked me. What kind of answer was I supposed to give him?
Also, how do you explain to a sick grandmother her expensive medication that has to be kept at a certain temperature has gone bad and she may have to cough up another ¢1000 to get a new one?
How do you explain to a hairdresser she cannot work today because there is no light, even when her prepaid meter has more than enough to last for a week? How do you explain to the laborer at a cement block factory site he cannot earn his wage today, just because the power to work is not there?
How do you explain to the businessman pitching for a contract via Zoom that, he will not have the power to enable him to put his argument forward before a panel living outside of his jurisdiction? How does the owner of a small shop paying workers by the day explain to her workers they have to remain at home until the power is back? And that means they will not get the daily rate on those days the power remains off?
How much will it cost for a simple statement to residents, offering some reasons as to why the persistent power outages?
The PURC is supposed to be the regulatory body that ensures an entity like ECG plays by the rules and treats consumers with absolute dignity and respect. The regulatory body does not have a good image so far as the people of Prampram and its environs are concerned. They must remedy that ASAP!
A 60+ years Ghana should be better than this. We cannot be paying more for tariffs and sleeping in the dark, just because we do not live in so-called plush environs.
Where is the respect for the consumer?
Why must the people of Ningo-Prampram suffer this much humiliation?
Why are both organizations refusing to tell us exactly what is happening?
Or do we look like puppets on a wobbling stick in the marketplace?
Your angry resident,
Anny Osabutey (PrampramFisherman)
For and on behalf of other angry consumers in the enclave.
45 Fisherman Lane,
Off Mandela Road