Light On, Light Off

24 hours off. 12 hours on. You may be wondering why we talk about blackouts and “light off” sometimes. Or you may be saying, “Why is the power always out for Mike and LaDonna?” I’ve asked myself the same questions…just kidding. Let me give you some insight: A lot of the power in Ghana is generated from lake Volta dam in the northern region. Everything else is powered by petrol and coal. ECG (Electricity Company of Ghana) is the supplier. It’s owned by the government but is its own entity. The government owes ECG millions of dollars for unpaid for electricity. So, ECG sells the electricity to neighboring countries to make back some of this deficit. In doing so, they need to cut the power locally to carry the extra load. Additionally, a few power plants are not operating so this makes things worse. This is why we have scheduled blackouts and frequent power outages. This is also the reason so many have generators at their homes. However the generators are meant to be used for short periods of time and not as a total substitute for power. So, even if you had a good one, you’d have to turn it off every so often to let it rest.

-M

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