The Chief of Wassa Old Subri, Nana Twumasi Ampaakwaw II, has been deeply concerned since 2022 about the encroachment of trees near the transmission lines in his community.

“Every day while leaving our farms, we feared that we would come back home to no lights because a tree had fallen on the lines,” he said.

These trees have been progressively growing, posing a threat to the community’s power supply. This power is not only vital for functioning health care facilities but is also essential for sustaining businesses and schools in the area.

In response to these pressing concerns, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has undertaken significant measures over the last three months to enhance transmission reliability. Collaborating with private entities, ECG has initiated efforts to clear overgrown vegetation along the transmission lines. Earlier this year, ECG partnered with Genser Energy, a prominent Ghanaian energy company operating in the Western Region, known for providing affordable and reliable power to various sectors, including mining giants like Gold Fields and Golden Star.

An assessment conducted earlier this year identified numerous trees and plantations under the transmission lines within the allowable distance These vegetation clusters posed a significant risk of disrupting power supply to fifty-eight communities reliant on electricity transmitted through these lines.

To ensure community participation and support, Genser Energy engaged over 200 stakeholders, including traditional leaders, local assembly members, and Project Affected Persons (PAPs). The maintenance work not only created local employment opportunities but also provided compensation to farmers whose trees needed removal. Genser Energy’s Community Relations team worked closely with local leaders and residents to ensure that the project not only enhanced power reliability but also contributed to the welfare of the community.

Justice Kofi Yeboah, a PAP from Accra Town, expressed his gratitude towards ECG and thanked Genser Energy for providing employment opportunities and improving community safety. He also expressed his satisfaction with the project, indicating that the clearing works will help the entire community and his family. “The clearing helps us all, if my son comes to my cocoa farm, I am now rest assured that the lines will not interfere with the cocoa trees and harm his life,” he stated.

Under the supervision of Genser Energy’s Construction Superintendent, Stephen Ayisi, teams selectively trimmed branches and removed high-risk trees posing a threat to the transmission lines. Local recruits from the affected communities were actively involved in these operations.

Since the clearing the communities have enjoyed an improvement in power supply to the communities. There has been a 50% reduction in power surges that caused power cuts in these communities between January and March this year, due to the cleared vegetation along these lines,

Samuel Acheampong, Mmratehene of Koduakrom stated during a public engagement with Koduakrom PAPs that, “the only work we do here is farming and petty trading. If this project has employed our youth to gain skills beyond what we do, then I am happy Genser has made that possible.”

The removal of high-risk trees will not only enhance the reliability of electricity supply to essential facilities but also contribute to the overall stability of Ghana’s national grid. Beyond local gains, protecting the lines enhances overall stability of Ghana’s national grid.

Source: Ghana/