The Managing Director, Mr. Robert Dwamena(third from left), The General Manager Public Relations, Mr. William Boateng (second from left), The Chief Director of the Ministry of Power, Mr. Solomon Asoalla (in the middle). presenting the solar Lantern to the Deputy Chairperson in charge of Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Georgina Opoku Amankwah(third from right) on behalf of the Electoral Commision.
ECG and the Ministry of Power have expressed readiness for Wednesday, December 7, general elections at a visit to the EC Headquarters in Accra on the 1st of December, 2016. Upon their visit to the EC Headquarters, the ECG and the Power Ministry presented 15000 solar lamps to the Electoral Commission as part of the contingency plans to ensure constant power supply at polling stations and collation centres during the elections.
Mr. Solomon Asoalla, Chief Director of the Ministry of Power, said the power sector has put in place stringent measures that will ensure that power outages do not interrupt the conduct of the national elections. “We have assurance from the ECG that they are working around the clock to ensure that there is power stability during the election period and thereafter”.
Information made available to the Ministry indicates that ECG and NEDCo will provide 275 generator sets at all the 275 collation centres to serve as a backup in case of unforeseen circumstances of outages, and also provide electricity for collation centres within communities which have not been hooked onto the national grid. “We have commissioned mini grids, that is, the combination of wind and solar power, to ensure that counting of votes is done properly, and in the full glare of everyone.” Mr. Asoalla said.
The power sector has a significant role to play on the day of the elections because the EC needs reliable power at the polling centres to power computers, recharge biometric verification machines and for counting of votes.
In previous elections, power outages and lack of lighting have caused the counting of votes to be postponed in certain polling and collation centres in the Country. This has in many circumstances, led to heightened tension and violence.
The blueprint, which according to the Ministry, was designed after consultative meetings with major agencies in the power sector, is therefore expected to contribute towards the conduct of free and fair elections on Wednesday, 7th December.
Mr. Asoalla further assured the EC of the readiness of all agencies within the sector, and their 24hours work to ensure that everything goes on smoothly during the elections.
Receiving the presentation, Georgina Opoku Amankwah, Deputy Chairperson in charge of Corporate Affairs, expressed her gratitude for the gesture, saying that the donation and plans from ECG and the Power Ministry comes as a welcome relief to the Commission.
“Electricity is a vital ingredient for us, especially during the collation exercise. This time round, the EC is going to do the electronic transmission, and our consultants had advised us to get generator sets for each of the collation centres, which our budget could not take care of. So we are very pleased that you have come in with these important materials.”
According to her the provision of these power items leaves the EC with no excuse for interruptions in the collation process. She also said the EC has also procured some of the lamps, hence the donated ones are also going to augment theirs. She ended by saying the gestures and programmes put in place by ECG and The ministry of Power will contribute to a free and fair elections.