Graphic Online

Graphic Online 

Be wary of loose electrical cables during storms — ECG cautions

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey
A fallen electric pole
A fallen electric pole

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has explained that the recent power outages during the rainy season are caused by fallen conductors and flooding close to the company’s transformers and substations.

Power is usually cut off in some communities when there is a downpour and the public has raised concerns when such incidents occur.

Briefing journalists on the causes of outages as part of a campaign to educate the public, the General Manager of the Public Relations Unit of the utility company, Mr William Boateng, said sometimes due to the intensity of the rainstorms, trees, masts and billboards were pulled down which  caused damage to electrical conductors of ECG, leading to major outages.

Fire Service

“The massive rainstorms and stormy winds rip off roofs and cause trees to fall on our lines and we are forced to put off power when this happens. It is a safety measure to protect our equipment and the electrical gadgets of our customers,” he said.

Additionally, he explained that there were instances where the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) had called the ECG to switch off the lines of some areas due to fire outbreaks.

Following heavy rains and lightning there are usually sagging ECG wires from electrical poles due to the stormy winds with some close to the ground or on the ground.

“We are at the peak of the rainy season and we are having some of these power outages whenever there is a storm. During these times, rectifying faults is much difficult because water is a good conductor of electricity and so it might lead to delays in restoring power,” Mr Boateng noted.

For complaints that power is cut off because an area is cloudy, he said: “That happens because our system is networked. A fault on one line could affect another area.

The system is interlinked and if you are on a network that has a problem because of the rains, you will experience power outage even though you may only have cloudy weather and not rains.”

Caution

Mr Boateng also said when there was a localised outage it was difficult to detect on the ECG system as the company did not have Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) to pick incidents of fault when it happened and would require the deployment of technicians to drive on the lines to locate the fault.

He, therefore, urged ECG customers to report incidents of power outage caused by fallen trees or poles in their vicinity to the company for prompt attention.

Mr Boateng also cautioned the public to be extremely careful during the rainy season by staying away from loose or fallen electrical conductors since the wires could be live and that could lead to electrocution.