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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Covid-19 and electricity generation: Why I think the comparison is a mockery of common sense

Have you listened to the comparison between the Covid-19 pandemic and electricity generation in Ghana? Was it a harmonious sound blended of soprano, attenuated by a bass, highly pitched by a tenor or smoothened by an alto singer? It simply never was a harmony. Forever, I think, it remains cacophony that is a mockery of common sense.

The reasons are not far-fetched as might be the case. Mathematically, fractions can best be compared when there is a common denominator. Do not be confused. Simply put, it is out of common sense to have a chameleon paired with a cheetah in a race. That would not be fair.  To have a good comparison, it could be a cheetah of North America with a cheetah from Africa. A better one will be, comparing chameleon from North Africa to that from South Africa in a race, because they have a common base which is the Africa continent. At best, you can do a cheetah from Tema, and that from Accra and that would be deemed most fair.  Same continent, same region, same district and possibly dwelling in the same environment with same climatic conditions. That is why I am amazed at comparing the Covid-19 crisis to the lack of electricity generation. Kilowatts and Watts (Electricity) cannot be compared with degrees Celsius (Temperature).

Coronavirus pandemic has not touched base with electricity generation at all. In fact, the two are dichotomized and highly polarized like the sky from Kalahari Desert. Coronavirus pandemic is a global situation but the electricity generation was domestic. Coronavirus and for that matter, Covid-19 had directives, guidance and indeed clear set of protocols dictated by WHO. Electricity generation had no such protocols.  Per the nature of Covid-19, a regular update is necessary as part of the solution and that is not the case of electricity generation. COVID 19, relies on Ghana Health Service and already established hospital facilities to tackle the situation. The generation of electricity does require an immediate building of electricity generation units.  Indeed, whiles there might be a need to build more hospitals, doing that immediately is not a panacea to the problem of Covid-19.  Nevertheless, building electrical power and purchasing electrical power generation units were immediately needed and remained the necessary and sufficient condition to stop “Dumsor”.

Covid-19 could kill people in a matter of days if not hours, the lack of electricity might do so perhaps in months and years. Covid-19 requires a lockdown. Since 1957, when Ghana attained independence as a nation, there are villages in districts that are yet to have electricity. Such villages have never suffered a lockdown due to a lack of electricity. Covid-19 requires that we wash our hands frequently, the lack of electricity generation has no such requirement. Thus, the free water and the reduction in electricity cost, are simply part of the indirect solutions to Covid-19. Covid-19 requires all public gatherings to stop, but I remember keeping wake in social gathering for departed souls without electricity in the past in my village. Without electricity, we were still going to schools but Covid-19 will simply not allow that. I could go on and on!

So, where lies the common trait underlying comparison of Covid-19 with electricity generation? This is just a mockery of common sense! Such a comparison is not only inhumane but an insult to the intellectual independence of voters. The comparison demonstrated the extent to which politicians could go to play the advantage even on the verge of all of us dying. In a nutshell, it is a demonstration of how politicians can stop at nothing, just to have their grip firmly. I am simply stunned!

Emmanuel Mensz Mensah Amevor is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Financial Expert (MBA).

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