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$520m For Rural Electrification

Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah

Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah

ABOUT 2,000 deprived communities across the country are expected to be connected to the National Electricity Grid after a $520-million loan was granted by the Exim Bank of the United States America and China for the project.

Out of the amount, $350 million had been granted by the Exim Bank to cater for 1,800 communities, while the remaining $170 million was given by China Water Project to benefit 800 communities.

The Deputy Minister of Energy, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah disclosed these on the floor of Parliament yesterday whilst answering questions from Robert Sarfo-Mensah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Asunafo North; Dominic Nitiwul, MP for Bimbilla and Joseph Boahen Aidoo, MP for Amenfi East.

The legislators wanted to know when a number of communities in their constituencies would be connected to the national grid.

Mr. Buah, who is also the MP for Ellembele, told the house that a comprehensive feasibility study had been conducted on the Self Help Electrification Programme (SHEP).

According to him, about 4,100 communities had so far benefited from the programme, adding that the Ministry would source for funds to bring many more areas on board as it gears towards achieving the threshold of 60 percent electricity coverage for all communities in the country within the five years.

The Ministry, Hon. Buah indicated, is on the verge of securing an additional loan of $320 million, which when approved by cabinet and Parliament, would help hook more communities to the national grid, especially those in the three Northern Regions with a threshold of about 20 percent.

Following a question by the MP for Bimbilla, Dominic Nitiwul, the Deputy Minister indicated that Bakpaba, Lanja, Bincharatanga; Juase(Juasheya), Nakpa, Dipa, Juanayili, Taali and Sabonjida in the Bimbilla constituency form part of the on-going SHEP-4 Phase-I Project.

According to him, construction of High Voltage (HV) and Low Voltage (LV) networks and Substation works had been completed at Bakpaba, Lanja, Bincharatanga, Taali and Sabonjida and customer service connections were on going in these communities.

He added that the installation works for HV and LV at Juasheya, Nakpa, Dipa and Juanayili were on-going and scheduled for completion by March 2010, stressing that  Nakpa and Dipa were yet to be provided with the Low Voltage poles required for their electrification projects.

The planned completion schedule of the projects for these two communities, Hon. Buah stressed, may be adversely affected if “they do not provide the LV poles on time.”

“Other communities in Asunafo North including Asukese, Berekum, Aworokrom, Fianko, Gyasikrom, Mfama, Anwiawia, Nkwanta, Kumado, Akwaduro and Nkyemkyehehe would benefit from the SHEP when funds are made available,” he added.

The Camp on Oppon Valley Road community in the Amenfi East, according to Hon. Buah, is earmarked to benefit from the Ghana Energy Development and Access Project (GEDAP), which is being funded by the World Bank and other Development Partners.

“Construction works are scheduled to commence by June 2010 and the project would be executed over a period of 18 months,” he noted.

Credit: dailyguideghana

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