Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The dammed dam is further dammed!

A post written from Monday that I am just getting around to posting...

So again the dammed dam drama unfolds. Today's headlines in the Daily Graphic scream ' VRA SHUTS DOWN ONE MORE UNIT: To avoid total collapse of Akosombo Power Supply' ! The Ghanaian Times, though less dramatic read: 'VRA, ECG TACKLE ENERGY CRISIS'.

The details left me no less worried " The Volta River Authority (VRA) in consultation with the government, has decided to reduce the units which the Akosombo Dam operates to generate power from three to two units to save the dam from total collapse'. The data looks all too distressing:

- Of the 10, 152 GWh projected as the demand for 2007, only 3,370 GWh is available, that is just a bit over one third of the total demand;
- In a strange reversal of fortunes, Ivory Coast who has promised to supply 200 MW of power to Ghana has now said it's unable to due to 'technical difficulties'; strange in that back in the day Ghana used to export power to Ivory Coast!

Anyway, not to be too negative, there were a number of options the Gov seems to be pursuing with the private sector. Guess we will just have to wait and see what happens. Interestingly, one of the measures taken by the Gov was the purchase of six million energy saving light bulbs for 'easy availability' to consumers.

Ironically in the midst of all this appeal to 'save the dam', we had a really heavy storm on Monday. The rain that we had been hoping for seemed to have finally come, flooding the city, and changing some roads into miniature rivers. One 'short-cut' that I usually take through Ashiaman was blocked, as the water reached up to the window level of cars! Seriously high! Of course the level in the dam dropped even further - today's reading being at 237.60 ft.

Ok, so have been complaining about the dam, but there are also quite some interesting facts, including the fact that by building the dam it created the (then)largest man made lake in the world, Lake Volta. Want more info? Nice article on Ghana Web on the dam see
History of Akosombo Dam

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