Three island communities in Ada East District in the Greater Accra Region are to enjoy affordable electricity from a mini-grid.
The Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, yesterday cut the sod for the renewable energy project located at Alorkpem.
The US$2m Spanish government grant project would benefit the people of Alorkpem, Aflivie, and Azizakpe, whose population is about 21,000 and it is expected to be completed in a year.
The Energy Minister said, “The three islands mini-grid project is unique in the sense that it closes the loop for the electrification of the four major island communities in the estuary of the Volta River, as Pediatokope is already connected.”
He said, “This project, upon completion, would deliver green and sustainable electricity to about 300 households, 2,100 people, and 30 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).”
He added that, “The project would fast open eco-tourism potential of Ada and bring in millions of cedis to the district’s economy annually, and be a game changer for the district.”
According to the Energy Minister, the project formed part of the last phase of the government’s provision of cost-effective electrification strategy to island and lakeside communities in the country.
Mr Amewu disclosed that preparatory activities were at advanced stages for the construction of about 55 other mini-grid projects on the Volta Lake, which would connect approximately 4,000 households in the Oti, Bono East and Savannah regions.
He mentioned that in the Affram Plains, the United States Trade Development Agency was funding feasibility studies towards the development of 35 mini-grids.
He explained that all these efforts were aimed at connecting communities which could not reach the national grid to mini-grids and stand-alone electricity schemes by 2025.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Chief of Alorkpem, Nene Oklu Siameh Asiedu, who spoke on behalf of all the three benefiting communities, said, “The absence of electricity in our communities has affected our lives in many ways. The youth have migrated from the village, leaving the aged behind.”
“The new intervention will improve our lives as a people; it will help us in storing food, and aid our school children in learning in the evenings.”
Nene Asiedu pledged that the communities would “take good care of the facilities.”
The Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, Philipp Stadler, stated that, “This project will not only improve the lives of the people in these communities but will also protect the environment by producing green energy, which contributes to climate change mitigation.”
He mentioned that his government would continue to work with the government of Ghana in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Seven, which seeks to ensure access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy for all.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Ada East, Sarah Dugbakie Pobee, expressed appreciation to the Ministry of Energy for its instrumental role in bringing the project to them, and extended same wishes to the Swiss government for the funding.
According to her, “the project would address the power issues we are encountering in our off-grid communities.”
She appealed to the benefiting communities to offer the necessary support to the contractor to ensure the project was completed on time and safeguard the facility when completed.
FROM FRANCIS NTOW, ALORKPEM