Saturday, May 3, 2008

let there be light...

What the hell err… heck is going on with the electricity company/corporation of Ghana? Is there a power crisis that we the alleged “good people of this country” are unaware of? Over the past month power supply in my house has been as erratic as the Zimbabwean election results.

The people just take us for granted don’t they? They just cut the lights off and switch them back on whenever they like! What’s the problem? Is the dam drying up again? I seriously hope not… especially with all the immense rain we’ve been having this month… but even if the dam is drying up, cant they tell us? I mean, if it’s something that necessitates a power rationing system at least they should let us know… what’re they afraid of? Public demonstrations?

I can understand that they might be scared to even whisper that we’re going to have to ration power AGAIN after all we have been through so far, agreed. But who says that just cutting power off unpredictably is a more sensible course of action? What annoys me is that the thing doesn’t seem to have any pattern… they just turn it off and turn it back on whenever they feel like. Sometimes it’s like they forget that they’ve turned off the electricity in certain areas… and they just leave us hanging, feeling hot, sticky, sweaty and irritated, wondering what’s going on and why we haven’t had light for 6 hours or more. No prior announcement, nothing. Other times, it’s like they cant figure out whether to turn the lights off or on, so it’s off for two minutes, then is back on for a second, then it’s off again…and then back on! It’s like two people are fighting over whether or not to turn the lights off in that area:

“I say turn the light off in achimota! Oh massa why? My wife will be ironing by this time, do spintex! Oh my friend, u no know say my house dey spintex? I say achimota!”

So why are our lights being cut with no explanation? It wouldn’t be as much of a problem if it was being done systematically with a recognizable element of logic to it, but that’s the problem: it’s done anyhow! By heart! We’re just being taken for granted because the fine people at ECG don’t see it fit to render an apology or explanation… or even an excuse! Can you imagine? They haven’t even tried to cook up a feeble excuse for it… we are not that important eh?! At least something along the lines of “oh, it is just being brought to our attention” or “people are stealing the cables” or “there was a problem with the transformer” or even the infamous “plans are far advanced to resolve the issue!” at least something to make us feel psychologically things are being fixed even though we know that the “plans” will probably be in the pipeline for much longer.

I hate to think about what would happen if we hadn’t developed a culture of connecting our computers to UPS stabilizers and so forth… the number of home appliances that people have reported damaged due to this erratic power supply is saddening. We should be able to hold ECG accountable for the damages… you break it, you fix it. No be so? This brings me to a most pressing question: Can the ECG be sued? Maybe they can, but we just don’t know it yet… can they be sued? Because in the wonderful democratic nation of America, where anything is possible, some teens sued a burger joint for making them fat! So tell me, can we sue ECG? Because I will gladly sue them on behalf of every tax paying Ghanaian, (and even the non paying ones) for everything from negligence, to causing damage, loss of property and even for unnecessary sweat and mosquito bites; from all those hot nights when we have been forced to open windows and doors for circulation simply because without warning or apology our lights had been cut. And stumbling around in the dark, you and I are left wondering “ahh! these ECG people paaaa! When will the light come back?”

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