Home Local News EXCLUSIVES |Traders Encroach GRIDCo’s High Tension Lines Amid Ignoring Danger To Make...

EXCLUSIVES |Traders Encroach GRIDCo’s High Tension Lines Amid Ignoring Danger To Make Some Money[READ]

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It is risky to stay under transmission lines for whatever purpose, but the quest for money has led some traders throwing caution to the wind.

After several notices by the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) to encroachers on its lands bordering its transmission lines, the question Ghanaians keep asking is what has GRIDCo practically done to prevent the danger?

Such activities pose a danger to human life and property as transmission line faults can result in casualties and damage.

Over the past years, per reports gathered by wildLEAKx, GRIDCo has had issues persons encroaching its transmission towers and lands across the country, especially in the Greater Accra Region.

In March last year, GRIDCo said it would soon embark on a demolition exercise around its Right-of-Way (RoW) locations along the Tema-Achimota-Mallam High Voltage transmission lines.

The exercise, scheduled for March 11, 2021, was to rid the affected areas of illegal occupants and encroachers whose activities prevent access to the transmission towers.

It said it was an offence under the Transmission Line Protection Regulations, 1967 (LI 542) as amended by Regulation No. LI 1737 of 2004, for persons or institutions, to conduct any form of activity concerning the lands around the location of power transmission lines and towers in Ghana, However, nothing has been done since.

In May 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also appealed to Ghanaians and the general public to stop buying and selling under GRIDCo’s high tensions lines.

Ebenezer Appah-Sampong, Deputy Executive Director (EPA) in charge of Technical, after a visit to the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Tema Motorway, Alajo, Avernor, and other parts of Accra where people are doing business and staying under GRIDCo high tensions said the dangers far outweigh the profits of any business transaction.

According to him, due to the weight of the cables and fire outbreaks, the wires could snap or sag, thereby causing electrical shock.

He noted that this could lead to disabilities, life-threatening injuries, or even death.

But very little action has been taken to clear off the encroachers.

Again in November 2021, GRIDCo said it was collaborating with national security to eject squatters and traders to protect their lives.

The Director of System Operations of GRIDCo, Mark Awuah Baah, also cautioned Ghanaians to desist from staying under transmission lines in the country.

He said persons who live under transmission lines risk losing their lives if a line fell at their ‘abode’.

He further warned that the victims’ bodies would be burnt beyond recognition due to the thousands of volts carried in these transmission lines.

The move, GRIDCo said, was to safeguard the lives of Ghanaians as well as to prevent any disaster. But so many months after the notice and caution, what has the company done to prevent any disaster?

A visit made by a news portal to the Adjei Kojo market, sited under the high transmission line, discovered buildings and illegal structures mounted under the high tension that serves as shops, workplaces, and abode for some traders.

Some occupants who spoke to the press on conditions of anonymity said they have no marketplace to trade after they were moved from Ashaiman Mandela park to the underbridge.

One woman appealed to the government to offer the traders an alternative space for doing business.

“We cannot fight the government.

We only want them to come to our aid,” she said.

“If only the government can provide a place that can accommodate all of us, we are willing to move.

“We do not necessarily have a preferred location.

We believe that due to the nature of our business, we will get patronage, irrespective of where we go.”

The traders lamented that at this crucial moment where the COVID-19 pandemic has collapsed many businesses, they are working hard to keep the families alive.

Another trader said “we know trading under the high tension is risky but we have choice.”

Efforts to reach GRIDCo to comment on the danger the high tension poses to the traders proved futile.

Watch photos from the scene beneath:

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