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31.03.2006 Regional News

Speed up rural electrification programme, says Wa MCE


Wa, March 31, GNA - Mr Mac Adams Banda, Wa Municipal Chief Executive, has appealed to the Ministry of Energy to expedite action on the rural electrification programme.

He said apart from the fact that some contractors had abandoned their projects others that have been wired for years now are yet to be energized.

Mr Banda, who as speaking in an interview with the GNA on Thursday about the self help electrification programme in the region, said as a result of the delays of the projects, a lot of communities have had their cables stolen.

He said three persons are on remand for allegedly stealing electrical cables between Busa and Bulengna in the Wa Municipality and Wa East District.

The Municipality Chief Executive said the cables recovered in their houses was valued at 400,000 million cedis but could no longer be used for wiring because they had been cut into pieces.

''For how long can we continue to see government hard earned money going into the drains while people in the rural areas are still wallowing in poverty and struggling for basic amenities?''

Mr Banda said although most of the electrification programmes were meant for the people of the region, contracts were awarded from the Ministry of Energy creating very little room for assemblies to effectively supervise them.

He further appealed to the Northern Electricity Department of Volta River Authority to energize most of the projects to prevent thieves from getting access to them.

Mr Nathaniel Baena, Area Manager of NED/VRA at Wa, said energizing completed projects was at the request of contractors, which VRA could not unilaterally do.

''Until contractors report to us on completed projects we have no power whatsoever to energize any project in our domain.'' Mr Baena said the VRA/NED played a supervisory role and therefore could not go beyond that without the consent of the Ministry of Energy and the contractors.

Mr George Ankobil, the Regional Police Commander, appealed to the government to support them with more vehicles to increase their patrol duties in the region. 31 March 06