A modern street lighting project valued at 5,000,000.00 Ghana Cedis, has been successfully completed and commissioned in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region. The project started around the second quarter of 2019 and got completed by November, 2019 without any hitches.
The Deputy Energy Minister Hon. Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam who commissioned the project and also did the official switching of the street lighting system on the last day of year 2019, described the project as profound as street lighting usually goes with several added advantages. He noted for instance that, it improves road safety for drivers and pedestrians alike, it enhances security for community members especially during the night and beautifies the town while serving as a catalyst for economic activities at night.
Hon. Amin also revealed that government had secured 186.4 million US Dollars for the extension of electricity to some unconnected communities in the five regions of the North of Ghana comprising the Upper East, the Upper West, Northern, North-East and the Savannah regions. He noted that this move was a timely and necessary one because government had found out that, average access to electricity in these parts was very abysmal.
He added that, the intervention will also help bridge the north-south development gap as an estimated 622 villages, towns and communities would be hooked to the national grid and which should lead to business growth and improvement in education standards as Information Communication Technology [ICT] laboratories would be connected while students can study at night. Additionally, health facilities can function effectively to dispense the requisite health services to community members as medicines can be refrigerated appropriately and medical operations, done with reliable and constant power supply.
The Deputy Energy Minister stated that, President Nana Addo had instructed the ministry to ensure that electricity was extended to every community that had prospects for any economic or productive activity as electricity connection to communities always held a multiplicity of benefits to players across the sectors. He noted however that, there were some communities across Ghana that had never seen electricity since independence [over 60 years] and hinted that government had initiated plans to connect many more communities to the national grid following the activation of phase of the Thengashep electrification programme which targets to finish off with the connection of some 243 communities under the phase one while adding on some 111 new communities.
Dr. Amin revealed that the Nana Addo-led government targets to ensure that no community would be without electricity by year 2025 and that, it was in this direction that government was concluding discussions to seal a 140 million US Dollars deal for a massive connection exercise across the country.
Bongo District Chief Executive (DCE) Hon. Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga in his welcome address earlier disclosed that, Bongo which is the capital of the district and the Namoo community as well as the Bongo – Soe area were all connected onto the modern street lighting system while future plans were on the drawing board to expand connection to other vital parts of the district. He observed that people in rural communities across his district view and value electricity as a very essential commodity that holds huge potentials for improved living conditions and therefore appealed to the energy ministry to hasten its rural electrification drive.
Hon. Ayinbisa who is also the 2020 parliamentary candidate on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the Bongo Constituency, commended government for allocating the street lights project to his district and the prompt release of funding for its timely execution. He however said many other villages in the area were not hooked to the national gird and made a passionate appeal to the energy ministry to increase the quota for connection so as to allow for more communities to come on board.
The Energy Ministry’s Chief Director Mr. Lawrence Apalse who gave a technical briefing on the street lighting project said, the Bongo project was unique and the first of its kind in the Upper East and Upper West regions because it consists of galvanised poles, has underground-buried cables and has all its units stringed together and switched by automatic control cubicles unlike the conventional street lights.
Mr. Apalse gave the assurance that the ministry’s team had taken note of the request of the district as put forward by the DCE and disclosed that there were some two key programmes to roll out soon and that Bongo would a beneficiary. These include the extension of national grid to new communities as part of the Synohydro Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam Project whose sod cutting was done by the President on 29th November, 2019 while the other is the activation of phase two of the Thengashep programme which also targets connection to rural communities. He said in all, some 354 communities were estimated to be connected under the Pwalugu Dam Project across the Upper East region.
The Chief Director also announced to the excitement of the health authorities and the district’s people that, approval had been given for the connection of the Soe CHPS compound.
Source: Peter Atogewe Wedam (ISD)