Cable theft on the rise in Sekondi-Takoradi; ECG worried

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The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in the Western Region has been spending close to GH¢150, 000 every week for the past three months to replace stolen electrical components at its ground mounted sub-stations in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.

The theft has resulted in long spell of power outages in the metropolis and also accounting for a sharp drop in the Company’s revenue.

The theft normally happens at the Company’s ground mounted stations at the outskirts of its operational communities.

The thieves will take away cables and other accessories connected to the sub stations thereby cutting power supply.

“Some years back, we were recording these theft cases and that was affecting our service delivery. We involved the security apparatus and were able to stop them. Unfortunately, this year these unscrupulous members of society have resumed their unpatriotic activities, this time with so much dexterity that it is becoming difficult to track them,” Acting Western Regional Manager of ECG Ing. Yaw Sarfo explained.

“This time they have targeted our ground mounted transformers and removing vital and very expensive components in the set-up.”

The latest theft happened last week at the company’s ground mounted 315kv substation at Essikadu in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis.

Ing. Yaw Sarfo explained that the theft has been happening twice a week for the past three months.

He attributed the long spell of outages recently being experienced in Sekondi-Takoradi and its environs to the thefts.

“Last week, we received complaint from our customers in Essikadu about a power outage. When our fault team investigated, they traced the issue to our ground mounted installation in the community. Upon further checks the team saw that some components in the set-up have been stolen and has resulted in the power outage. This is really affecting our ability to supply and give stable power.”

He added: “Some of the components cost as much as GH¢600 to replace. You add cost of labour and the fact that these theft happen twice a week then you will have an idea of how challenged we are. It is really affecting our revenue. We are also not able to take on new projects due to the unplanned expenditure.”

He mentioned that the activity is affecting appliances of customers, indicating that “because these outages are not from our end and we are not able to control them, it is having a telling effect on the appliances of our customers. We have been receiving several complaints from our customers about how these unfortunate outages are destroying their appliances”.

Ing. Sarfo announced that the company has introduced a reward system to encourage community members to report any unusual activity at their substations.

“We have been engaging the security apparatus to map out a strategy to deal with the theft. We have also instituted reward systems and encouraging residents to report any suspicious activities around any of our installations. What they must know is that it will also inure to their benefit to help us apprehend these thieves. Because once it stops, they are guaranteed stable power supply and their appliances will also be saved from destruction.”

By Eric Yaw Adjei|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana

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