Corporate Responsibility and the Load Shedding

Sun, 22 Jul 2007 Source: Marfo, Eugene

It has been almost ten months since the country started experiencing the load shedding programme due to the low water level in the Akosombo dam and technical problems at the Aboadze Thermal Plant

We are all aware of the efforts the government has been making to bring this uncomfortable situation in which we find ourselves, especially in our 50th year, to an end. We know of the building of the generating plants by the Military, the mining companies, VRA, the step being taken to power the Osagyefo, barge among others. We are all aware of the adverse effect the energy situation is having on our industries and for that matter our economy, as well as our social life.

What I believe many are not aware of is the steps some of our corporate firms can take, simple steps I mean, to mitigate the discomfort that this load-shedding programme is having on us; and I will give instances.

Just around the Ako Adjei interchange are traffic lights which regulate traffic from ‘Circle’ to TV3/Prudential Bank and ‘Immigration’ then to ‘Danquah’. When there is power outage around this area, it affects the traffic lights. Prudential Bank is however brightly lit. Now, I am wondering, is it too much for Prudential Bank to connect these Traffic lights to their stand-by generator so that at least the vehicular and pedestrian movement will be relatively safe?

Just opposite the Head Office of SG-SSB is the Nima Police Station. Between these two important structures is the Nima Traffic Light. When there is power outage especially at night the place is the whole area is frighteningly dark. The Nima Police Station and Quarters are very dark and vehicular movement is very dangerous. It is even perilous despite the reflector vests the police officers wear, to direct vehicular and pedestrian traffic at that time. But the SG-SSB building is as bright as ever. We all know that the police are poorly equipped. And if there is a building that requires police protection most at that time, it is the headquarters of SG-SSB. So I ask: what stops SG-SSB from connecting their stand-by generator to the Nima police Station and the Nima Traffic Light?

Talking about the police; have you noticed the traffic lights between the Ako-Adjei Inter-change and the Danquah Circle? These lights go off when there is ECG power outage in the area. Meanwhile the Police Headquarters, GNFS Headquarters, and the Trinity House among others remain lit at these times. Are these institutions oblivious to any form of social responsibility? The police are always crying out to corporate and social institutions to come to their aid yet in this particular instance where they could have been seen to be contributing in a different way to the social cause, they have fallen short.

Again around the Kawukudi junction is the Gold House. All those who ply the Obasanjo Highway are aware of the high spate of accidents whenever power outage causes the traffic lights there to go off. I remember some years back when the country was faced with a similar crisis, the Gold House proposed, and did connect the traffic lights at the Kawukudi Junction to their stand-by generator. Why are they not doing that this time around?

Plying the highway from ’37’ to ‘Tetteh Quarshie, one encounters a number of junctions and traffic lights. Around this area are impressive business structures like the Golden Tulip Hotel, Opebea House, Silver Star Tower, Granada Hotel, Woolworth, Civil Aviation, and Shangri-La. Some of these buildings house huge businesses like Standard Charted Bank, Manet Real Estate Company, Ghana International Airlines, among others. Most of these buildings are located along the road and around these junctions, close to these traffic lights. Certainly, the effective functioning of the traffic lights will ease vehicular movement to, from and around their premises. Yet, when there is power outage as a result of the load-shedding exercise or for whatever reason the traffic lights go off whilst these buildings remain brightly lit. Can the occupants of theses buildings not help? Or does it not fall within their perview of social responsibility?

The load shedding exercise is unwelcome and uncomfortable for everybody. But surely, whilst the government is doing all it can to overcome this national challenge, it behoves on all corporate organizations to do their little to reduce the discomfort and mishap that it may pose to some of us.

In the meantime fellow Ghanaians lets contribute our quota in surmounting this challenge by practicing energy and environmental conservation.

After all, God helps those who help themselves.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Marfo, Eugene