What causes ‘dumsor’ or power cuts in Ghana?

Ghana has for several years been experiencing massive power blackouts popularly nicknamed ‘dumsor,’ which means off and on in Twi. This ‘trend’ is common in many developing countries. Households can experience blackouts for extended periods of time; some lasting a few minutes, hours, and sometimes, even days. 

Causes and effects of power outages in Ghana

According to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), most of the power outages should be blamed an on inadequate supply of gas from Nigeria. The government has maintained that the current supply is unstable and they can only supply what they get.
On the national front, the government maintains the claim that they are doing everything they can and that upcoming projects will ease the situation soon. For most Ghanaians though, these are just empty promises that they have heard too many times before.

Image result for ECG Ghana

In recent times, it may be safe to say that the power crisis has decreased. However, these constant outages makes it hard for Ghana to keep up with the growing pace of technology.

Businesses who solely rely on power face difficulties such as the risk of business failure due to the high cost of running generators for extended periods of time. The industrial sector, with its massive energy needs, has been the worst hit. Investors are withdrawing and the decline of the national currency shows these effects. As of today, 1 Ghana Cedi is 4.4 US dollars.

Way Forward

1) The country should stop majorly relying on Nigeria for its gas supplies. At the minimum, it should store enough gas reserves for contingencies.

2) The country should exploit alternative energy solutions such as wind energy and solar energy.

3) Ghana should privatize the energy sector. This will de-monopolize the industry and allow competition from private companies. Doing so will increase energy supplies, improve on quality and reduce costs in the long run.

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