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General News
The people need the truth to manage the energy crisis 4/27/2007
Accra, April 26, GNA - Speakers at a Socialist Forum on Thursday called on the government to tell the people of Ghana the whole truth surrounding the energy crisis in order to make them understand, sacrifice and lend their support to manage the problem as a national crisis.

Dr. Yao Graham, Coordinator of the Third World Network of Africa said about 80 per cent of Ghana''s population was in the informal sector where the impact of the energy crisis was felt the most.

He said the energy crisis as currently pertained would take a longer period to be solved and there was the need to give the people information that would help them make long term plans to salvage their industries and also contribute to solving the crisis through energy conservation.

Dr. Graham said, in order not to get entangled with more crises, lessons must be learnt from policy recklessness where the government would not tell the people the truth and make promises that were untenable.

He said the government was advocating an immediate replacement of six million bulbs with energy conservation ones at the cost of about 18 million dollars and that this should not be done in the middle of crisis as it was a long-term project as the European Union was also advocating but to achieve it by 2010.

Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr. Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper noted that putting the blame on the failure of the rains was like blaming God for the country''s energy crisis.

He said this had been a monumental policy failure of government since the inconsistencies in the rainfall pattern had been known many years but the inefficiencies in the energy sector coupled with the untruths by the government had compounded the problem Mr Pratt said the World Bank submitted a report to government last year predicting a 50 per cent loss in the energy generation capacity of Ghana but unfortunately government did everything to hide it from the public.

He said Professor Evans Atta Mills'' visit to Akosombo brought to the fore that the problem could not be resolved in less than 12 months which contradicted the government''s position that it would take between a fortnight and a month to be resolved.

He said the generators imported to produce 50 megawatts of electricity were actually producing 20 megawatts and needed 2.7 billion cedis worth of gasoil a day to fuel them but this would worsen the plight of Ghanaians since its implications on the national budget could not be overemphasized.

He called on the intellectual class to stand up with authority to speak the truth rather than sing the masters praise in order to save the ordinary Ghanaian who would suffer in terms of any eventuality. Mr Robert Woode, an Engineer who could not help but to weep openly due to the crisis facing the country called for the cultivation of almond trees to produce oil to fuel generators to run the industries. He said the country had 16.3 million hectors of land area and Ghanaians could plant about five million hectares of almond tress which would generate 12.5 billion dollars revenue and also create jobs for the youth.Source:

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