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Electricity Company of Ghana hasn’t released 2024 ‘dumsor’ timetable

Claim: Multiple reports say the Electricity Company of Ghana has released a timetable of the towns in the country experiencing power outages in 2024.

Verdict: Misleading. DUBAWA’s checks have shown that the document purportedly from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), which caused the speculations was authored in 2023 and not 2024. Also, the ECG has described the document titled “ECG – Load Management Schedule” as “fake.”

FULL TEXT:

Ghana’s energy sector has been facing some challenges since the start of the year with a string of erratic power outages known locally as ‘dumsor’ recorded across the country.

There are fears among Ghanaians that the country is fast creeping back to the “dark days” of late 2012 to 2016 when the erratic nature of power supply negatively impacted lives, businesses, and the economy.

There are growing calls for the country’s power distributor, the Electricity Company of Ghana, to release a load-shedding timetable for the cities and towns experiencing power outages in 2024. Some Ghanaians have said a load-shedding schedule would help them to plan their lives around the situation appropriately.

However, Ghana’s electricity company has maintained there is no need for a load shedding timetable. It explained the power outages recorded across the country since the beginning of the year were due to the routine maintenance of its equipment. 

In less than 72 hours after the electricity supply to crucial state institutions, including the country’s Parliament, was disconnected due to indebtedness, a document with a load-shedding timetable purportedly released by the ECG has surfaced on social media, specifically on WhatsApp in the country.

A screenshot of the purported load-shedding management timetable

The document has gone viral with a section of Ghanaians urging the government to address the erratic power supply in the West African country. A second document also surfaced, with April 2024 being the date for the start of the load shedding.

DUBAWA decided to investigate the claim as part of its campaign against misinformation and disinformation in Ghana.

Verification:

DUBAWA’s checks revealed that the document purportedly issued by the Electricity Company of Ghana was authored in 2023 and not in 2024. 

The document has led to speculation about a possible return to the period of complete darkness recorded in the country between late 2012 and 2016. However, a content analysis conducted by DUBAWA showed the electricity company released the document in the first quarter of 2023.

“The Electricity Company of Ghana wishes to inform the general public that due to the maintenance works being carried out by the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) at Atuabo, there is a power generation shortfall.

Please find below a load management schedule from Thursday, 30th March to Friday, 7th April 2023, between 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm,” the document read. 

Although the second document that surfaced had April 2024 as the date for the start of the load shedding, a critical review by DUBAWA showed it still had 2023 on some of the pages.

When DUBAWA visited the social media handles of Ghana’s power distributor, it found a post in which the company had described the document titled “ECG – Load Management Schedule” as “fake.”

The electricity company took to its Facebook page on March 14, 2024, to share a screenshot of the document with the word “fake” written across it.

DUBAWA later contacted the ECG, and the communication directorate of the power distributor asked Ghanaians to disregard the documents circulating in the country.

“We have not released any load-shedding timetable,” ECG communication directorate responded.

In an interview, Energy Minister Mathew Opoku Prempeh admitted there was a bit of a challenge with the power supply but vehemently dismissed reports ‘dumsor’ was back. When the load-shedding timetable was asked, he said one was unnecessary. He went further to ask persons who feel they need a timetable to draw their own timetable.

Also, a few individuals who forwarded the document to their WhatsApp groups were contacted to find out if they had read it. However, they claimed the document was shared in other groups, and they forwarded it without reading it.

Conclusion:

It is, therefore, not true that the Electricity Company of Ghana has released a load-shedding timetable of the areas that will be experiencing power outages in the country in 2024.

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