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16.06.2005 Regional News

AFATI to have electricity power by end of July - Minister


Accra, June 16, GNA - Professor Mike Oquaye, Minister of Energy, on Thursday said with the provision of a 15 million-dollar India facility, work would soon resumed on the electrification project in the Afram Plains District in the Eastern Region which would connect Amankwakrom Fisheries Agricultural Technical Institute (AFATI) to the national electricity grid. He said the connection of the school to the grid delayed due to temporary shortage of materials but with the facility now available, the

Government would extend electricity to the institute by July 2005. Prof. Oquaye said this in response to a question by Mr Joseph Tsatsu Agbenu, NDC-Afram Plains North, as to when the Government was going to extend electricity to AFATI from the National Electricity Grid. The Minister said the Government connected the Amankwakrom community, which was few kilometres away from AFATI, to the Grid under the electrification of Volta Lake Resettlement Township Project.

On the extension of electricity to communities in Afram Plains North Constituency, Prof. Oquaye said the Government had earmarked Adukrom, Bethel, and Serwuah communities for connection to the Grid under the Self-Help Electrification Project Four (SHEP-4) programme, which includes over 2,000 communities. "We are at the moment implementing the SHEP-4 Phase-I Project, which is of limited scope and would connect 193 communities to the Grid.

Prof. Oquaye said the Government would consider Bethel, Adukrom and Serwuah under the subsequent phases of the SHEP-4 in line with the implementation schedule and the availability of funding. He said the Ministry had not listed Avatime, Bruben and Adofo communities under any of the ongoing electrification programmes and that the communities might have to apply for consideration under the SHEP if they met the eligibility requirements.

Prof. Oquaye said Kwaekese town has been included in the SHEP-IV programme but not listed in the ongoing SHEP-IV Phase-I project. "The Kwaekese community will therefore be considered under the subsequent phases of the SHEP-IV in line with implementation schedule when the necessary funding is secured."

Alhaji Alhassan Yakubu, NDC-Nanton asked the Minister the status of SHEP projects in Tampion West, Nagdigu, Zien, Nanton-Kurugu, Zoggu, Nyeko and Nyolugu in the Nanton Constituency. Prof. Oquaye replied that the Government had earmarked Tampion, Nagdigu, Zien and Nanton-Kurugu communities of the Savelugu Nanton District for connection to the Grid under the SHEP-III Phase-II project.

The Government earmarked Zoggu, Nyeko and Nyolugu communities for connection under the SHEP-III Phase-III Project and that it would complete installation works of all the projects in the communities before the end of the year. "A major obstacle for the total completion of works in most of the Northern Regions can be attributed to the unavailability of low voltage service poles for most of the communities.

"The nature of the thatched roofs of the houses does not allow for direct power supply to these houses and, therefore, there was the need to make these poles available for customer service connections." The Minister said the SHEP-IV programme had captured 25 communities in the Northern Region for connection to the Grid and in addition, and it had further listed 38 communities for the Ministry of Energy to consider.