About 635 communities in the Upper West Region are yet to be connected to the national grid for electricity supply.
The Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, who stated this appealed to the Ministry of Energy to expedite action on extending electricity to those communities to enhance economic activities.
The minister made the appeal on Monday at a stakeholders’ forum at Wa in the Upper West Region organised by the Ministry of Energy to solicit ideas to aid in the draft of a National Energy Transition Plan for the country.
The transition plan seeks to prescribe a road map to guide the short and long term actions needed to transition the country to the use of renewable energy, as well as reduce and contain carbon emissions.
Addressing participants, Dr Salah used the opportunity to make a case for prompt action for those communities.
Adding his voice, the President of the Regional House of Chiefs, Naa Dikomwine Domalae explained that stable electricity supply in the region would enhance economic activities and help to partially eliminate unemployment among the youth.
“It is quite unacceptable that we live in a region with abundance of sunshine but some communities do not have electricity supply. Can we begin to consider supply of power to individual households with the use of solar in order to reduce the burden on hydro power”, he said.
The chief explained that the presence of electricity in a community would mean jobs for indigenes, and cited for instance, the presence of electricity could allow people to engage in the use of refrigerators to create jobs or set corn mills for their people.
“We are crying for youth unemployment so we need to make the necessary arrangement for Ghanaians to be individually empowered to ensure that they are able to provide jobs for themselves”, he mentioned.
For his part, Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr Hassan Sulemana Tampuli who was in the company of the Deputy Energy Minister, Mr Mohammed Amin Adam and some experts from the ministry said transitioning to the use of a cleaner source of energy was of global concern.
He stated that transportation accounted for a greater percentage of carbon emissions into the atmosphere as it was responsible for mobility, production and distribution of goods and services in the country.
“Data from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) indicates that 72 per cent of vehicles are powered by petrol engine, 27 per cent by diesel engine and less than one per cent by LPG engine and other energy sources”, he enumerated.
This, he said, called for concern as the world was moving away from the production of fuel-powered vehicles to electric vehicles, and said the forum was therefore necessary to aid in the drafting of the energy transition plan that would chart a path for the country in that regard.