On Wednesday, 27th July 2022, electricity company of ghana (ECG) plugged out power from the Krobo people.
This has affected many businesses and homes.
We believe that the story below justifies the true nature of what’s going on in Kroboland and why the ECG Kroboland saga has not ended. The story was copied from one Tetteh Ofori who commented on a story from the TV3 Facebook page.
- At a point in time on Kroboland (Manya & Yilo) there was an issue of over billing by ECG probably emanating from a software error. Bills went up as high as 700% for many people. But clients did not pay the huge bills but only continued paying what they usually paid leaving behind huge arrears.
- ECG instead of accepting the anomaly, rejected this basic fact and threatened to disconnect clients from the grid if they refuse to pay. They also said they will replace the old meters with prepaid and in addition load the debts unto it.
- Kloma Gbi & Kloma Hengme both are Advocacy and Heritage groups for Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo respectively started using dialogue by calling for meetings for all stakeholders including Traditional leaders, Politicians and ECG but an agreement was never reached. Probably ECG didn’t want to admit their error.
These Advocacy group of intellectuals tried all gemtleman agreements but ECG was adamant.
- ECG moves into town(Somanya in Yilo Krobo) with a mass disconnection exercise which the people of Somanya in the Yilo Krobo opposed leading to a demonstration and subsequent clash resulting in damage of ECG district office and police vehicles.
- There comes the advent of a group called KROBO YOUTH FOUNDATION. They started registering people as part of their association. They claim among other things that Kroboland should not even pay light and water bills because Krobo land is home to two Hydro Dams.
Akosombo and Kpong together with the largest water treatmenttreatment plant in Ghana. They claim VRA and GWCL signed an agreement with their chiefs during the construction of the Dam and water works respectively.
Some people have bought into this assertion and they continue to meet and have sued ECG and VRA.
- After the clash, ECG stopped sharing bills in Manya & Yilo Krobo for 18 months. This further escalated the debts until they resumed sharing bills somewhere February 2018.
This time round the bills made sense. Everybody agrees the current Bills are accurate. But the outstanding bills are still there. So Some people are paying the current bills
- Healthy Community Foundation, an NGO comes in to conduct a research, collates ECG bills of clients in KROBO and establishes that indeed there was overbilling at point in time. It petitions the presidency and all stakeholders of its findings and suggested solutions. But meeting is never held.
- Then Early May 2019, PDS now new owners of ECG comes to town to start disconnecting people for owing bills including the overbilling.
This time around they are doing it in Manya Krobo and it has also resulted in clashes leading to the death of a teenager.
- There are now two groups of people in Krobo. Those who want recalculation of the overbilling so they will pay and those who stand with the UNITED KROBO FOUNDATION that they won’t pay bills and won’t allow disconnection.
- But both groups don’t want to be disconnected unless the issue is solved. So PDS must go back to the drawing table and find lasting solution to this simple problem.
- Fast forward into 2022, after several engagements, ECG has accepted that indeed there was an issue of over billing and has therefore ring fenced the 2014-2017 bills.
Residents have also been given 5yrs to settle the 2018-2021 bills (this were accumulated because ECG wasn’t billing Customers)
- The Paramount Chief and United Krobo Foundation has now accepted the verdict and support the onwards installation of prepaid meters as lasting solution.
- Residents of Kpong, a cosmopolitan town in the lower Manya Krobo have cooperated in the installation of the prepaid meters amidst Military presence and have started paying.
- The next town (Nuaso) greets ECG technicians and the military men with firece opposition to the installation exercise.
This is followed by a collective massive demo by residents of towns from Somanya to Nuaso with the exception of Kpong.
- ECG jumps all remaining towns on the Kpong-Somanya highstreet and continues the installation in somanya(Yilo Krobo) who were part of the demo but residents are cooperating.
Paramount chief of Manya Krobo issues a presser in support of the exercise.
- Some divisional chiefs from the town where a boy lost his life for demonstrating thinks otherwise.
They are not ready for the prepaid unless the government resolves the issues around the death and compensations are fully paid.
- Other leaders have emerged calling for one household one prepaid meter instead of the one compound house one meter. But ECG says they are not giving new service meters but only replacing old meters.
- Other groups have picked up info that Residents of Kpong who have accepted the prepaid are made to pay Ghc 7.50 monthly as service charge.
This has been misinterpreted to mean that ECG is cleverly deducting the bills they claim they have ring fenced. This is another reason for the fierce opposition in those areas.
- It has been reported that ECG moved in to disconnect those those areas which forms the mainland Krobo area from the grid leaving out Kpong to have light. Residents then got agitated and tried reconnecting.
- ECG moves in to pull off the plugs, abandone the entire prepaid installation excrcise and vacate duty leaving the entire Mainland Krobo areas including Kpong and Somanya in total darkness for more than 7 days blaming it on electrical fault.
Residents of Kpong & Somanya are angry that they cannot be punished for the sins of their brothers. They need their light back.
Stakeholders meetings are ongoing … copied