Got Lights?

A junction where the lights are always on in Ghana!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Back on the Blog!

It is 2014 and Ghana is STILL struggling with power generation, distribution and client satisfaction issues. This time is seems more ominous because there has been no definite plan for the load shedding/power management/electricity rationing we are going through. We have been informed that the schedule for the power sharing will be out soon. Sketchy planning if you ask me.

Is it a matter of not having learnt anything since 2006? 2010? Or we just don't have the capacity to learn. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Not again!

It breaks my heart to restart this blog because I was convinced the electricity problem had been resolved. But I guess that was not the case albeit the problem now is quite different!

Last 2 years the problem was blackout over at least 12 hrs in a day. So you know the lights will be off for a chunk of time. Now the lights go off at least 12 times in an hour! And your guess is as good as the next person's when the lights will go off again.

People are making bets as to when the lights will go off next and which electrical appliance will be wrecked next.

But there is an explanation to all of this:
The World Bank has given the Gov't of Ghana some millions of dollars to fix the grid which carries electricity to all paying and non-paying Ghanaians. But the question remains: DIDN'T THEY FACTOR IN THE FACT THAT THERE WILL BE INTERRUPTIONS AND WE SHOULD BE TOLD AHEAD OF TIME!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Got Lights? You Bet!!

The Lights Are Back!!

And it happened after a series of strange events if you ask me. After not bothering to switch on the lights in my house to avoid the dissappointment of not having power, I was pleasantly surprised to read in the Graphic in broad daylight that the power outages were over. One might wonder how come I did not hear it from someone on the streets. The truth is in true Ghana-man fashion, Ghanaians had gotten used to the power situation, had adjusted all activities to ensure maximum use of the sun light (and not only making hay :-) and had simply stopped griping about the power outages. Life after all has to go on.

But to go back to the strange events:

1. A group of people converged on the Volta Lake at Akosombo and had a prayer session
2. A follow-up all night prayer session was held at the Independence Square to make sure the first one went to the right quarters.
3. Still no power for a month and the power bills were higher than when we had power!
4. Then Cote dÍvoire decided to allow Ghana to import power from them. Why now after all the sweltering nights and sultry days?
5. Then the rains started coming down. In no small amounts. At the expense of the already marginalised Northern Region who I swear consume less than 1% of the power generated by the dam. The lives that were lost, farms drowned and infrastructure washed away did not even prompt the prayer warriors to get back on their knees to pray for salvation of the poor poor folks up North.

I guess the power was back up and they were busy catching up on their TV programs and lighted night time activities.

This blog is dedicated to the lives that were sacrificed to get the power back to Ghana.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Loving Gh : No lights and all

You gotta love Ghana.

And after 3 weeks out of town in Liberia and Sierra Leone, you gotta love it more. In both these countries there are power outages so it's just like home. But here in Gh there is some semblance of scheduling even though residents in East Legon will beg to differ.

And in Gh there are street lights unlike in Liberia where driving is out of this world. Everyother driver must have gone to a different driving school. Its a simple issue of : get to your destination no matter what, who and how. Switch over to Accra ; dual carriage roads, streetlights, swept roads, collected trash and no groups of youth and men hanging around on the streets, then you gotta love Gh.

So when we are complaining, let's keep in mind that although we are ages behind the developed world, we are also eons ahead our compatriots in the developing world.

And Gh is changing so fast, its hard to keep up. I got to Shell to buy petrol after 3 weeks and the attendant asks : Super or V-Power? What is V-Power?

I politely ask him : What is the difference? and he says : 1000 cedis. Well that surely tells me a lot. That V-Power fuel is within my price reach! As to what it does for my car, now that is another issue. Unleaded fuel vrs leaded fuel. Hmm someone else do that explaining.

Makes me wonder what else would have changed the next time I get back from a trip. Sundays will be workdays?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Gh@L : Got Plans?

39 days and counting to March 6th when Ghana is 50!
  • Debates abound to why we are intent on celebrating this anniversary when other countries who we started nursery school with are in PhD programs while Ghana is still in Class 2. OK I'd be kind Class 3. Do we really want visitors to have a no-holds barred viewing of Sodom and Gomorrah at it's cinder-blazing best or of throngs of able bodied youth selling an amazing range of made- in- only-God-knows-where goods on the main thorough-fares in the Capital City.
  • But behind the congregation of physically disabled panhandlers (sheesh! say beggars already!) around the Ridge Circle, Ghana-at-50 can celebrate the intricate road networks that allow these beggars to manoeuvre their wheelies smoothly. She can rightly celebrate the skyline that showcases beautiful buildings housing upstarts and grand dames of banking operations, telecom mercenaries and well as those that really sound like Ghana. And not to forget recreational edifices that although they have a distinctly Asian look should rightly be hosting Ghanaian cultural entertainment.
  • Surface achievements!! the grumpy naysayers will rush to shout. Remember when you were a child and your parents decided to throw a party in your house. At that time you had most probably gotten into a heated argument with them because they did not let you go the Afternoon Jam in that skimpy miniskirt you wanted to wear. Are you going to stay in your room and sulk because you are royally pissed off at them or you are going to throw yourself headlong into that party at the other side of the house because you have put on that bad bad red miniskirt you retrieved from the dustbin??? Did I say the miniskirt had a band of sequins at the hem and waistline?
  • Despite all our hesitations with the state of the Ghanaian economy, infrastructure, social services and what not, let us enjoy this party because it is our party.
Any who knows? We might be granted continuous power for all the celebrations because hey! Ghana is 50!
  • Anniversary entertainment schedule to follow shortly...............

Brown outs or Black outs?

Is the power rationing exercise still ongoing? Either my coping mechanisms are working very well for me or like everything else I cannot change I am Blacking the experience out of my mind.
  • Thanks to the powers-that-be for the continuous power over the Xmas period. I am so used to the power being off that I stop hitting the lights switch in the evenings. I have memorized perfectly the layout of my house, the number of stairs and the eiree human like curtains that I can move around in pitch darkness. So when I drive down the road it never ceases to amaze me the recent generator purchases. Or is the power back on?
  • Ask the people in East Legon and they will tell you the 5-day schedule does not matter. On the Brown out days either a couple of phases go off or the constant hourly on-and-off annoys you so much you decide to stay permanently in the Off phase. Revenge on ECG! You deprive them of getting you all agitated because of the unsteady power. Then on the Black out days you just resign yourself to the coping techniques already discussed.
  • Will this end? Soon? Seems like Joy FM is no longer trashing this dead horse so everyone is resigned to this state of affairs for the long haul. The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is no longer touting the exorbitant cost of generating power for their industries so we all assume they will work it into their costs so that the consumer ends up paying for it. So the average Kojos end up feeling their way around their houses for lack of lights and then when the day comes around goes to purchase higher priced good because of higher prices of production??? Lets hope not.
  • I must however concede that the switch to power outs only from 6pm - 6am every 5 days is bearable. Way bearable than the every 3 days alternating day or night if ECG is kind

Let there be lights!

Monday, December 18, 2006

No Lights? Ideas Below.....

We all have our coping mechanisms for when the lights are off. A few suggestions of Locations and Activities are listed here and staying late at work is certainly not one of them!

Do add in what you do or what ideas you have for coping so we can all have a wider range of options to chose from when the lights are off.

These are listed in order of preference ofcourse:

  • The Scoop Icecream Palour at A&C Mall - In addition to fat free, lactose free scrumptious Soy ice cream, avid Scrabble players troupe here to release steam over a board. And ofcourse cool off with a wide range of chilled drinks. I highly recommend the Tropical Rythms Regge Medley fruit juice.

  • INet Internet Cafe at A&C Mall - You might as well get online FAST and communicate. And there are chilled drinks on sale.

  • Lounging at Tulip with a dear friend - Try the fruit punch while you are at it people watching. Or turn your back to the crowds and curl up with a cold drink and a book.

  • Opps! - Instead of sweating in bed alone at home, you might as well do it at Opps! at Bubuashie to some real good music. I know it's a small space but between 11pm and 12.30am you have all the space you may want. And after 3pm you can do splits without hurting anyone but yourself.

  • The Carribean - This is a newly opened Carribean Restaurant in Osu about 4 houses down from Dynasty Chinese Restuarant. Great great to die for food if the food critics are to be trusted.

  • Monte Carlo Bar, Games and Restaurant at Labone - This was pleasant surprise and I had a good time too. And its the season for pomp and glitter so go and have a good time. And you will not have to take your bank along with you.

  • Golden Oyster Restaurant in East Legon on the A&C Mall road - Great atmosphere, good food and a close look at the planes as they fly over to land at the airport. Some have even called it romantic!

Any add-ins? Post a comment!