The Australian High Commissioner to Ghana has assured residents in Siamekome, a fishing island community of his decision to install solar panels to provide electricity to end decades of darkness in the community in the middle of the Volta river.
On Thursday, May 27, 2021, the High Commissioner, Gregory Andrews paid a working visit to the island to assess and ascertain the feasibility of connecting the island to a renewable energy source after a ghanabusinessnews.com report highlighting the plight of school children who use phone flashlights to study at night.
Mr. Andrews in the company of his wife, a local reporter from Dela Radio at Adidome, Christopher and Fred Duhoe, crossed the Volta river to the island that has been without basic amenities except the river.
Siamekome, located to the North-East of Mafi Adidome in the Central Tongu district has been disadvantaged due to its location in the heart of the river. Due to no economic activity except subsistence farming, it’s not economically feasible to connect it to the national grid. Until the island is treasured as an ecotourism hub for massive investment, it will forever remain lost on government’s priority list.
Mr Andrews in his interaction with the elders in the community said, “those in Australia and Ghana’s capital Accra may take the privilege of switching a button to access electricity for granted. But, the sad story of Siamekome sleeping in darkness all these years reveals how precious an opportunity will be to have light”.
He further added that, the project will be a priority project for the Australian government to invest about GH¢160,000 to brighten the island for the sake of the school children.
The elders and children in the community could not hide their joy. Samson Avenorgbor who welcomed the delegation, said this will be a dream come true. “Ever since we were born, we’ve never seen light on this island. We have to always cross the river to even charge common phones. Our canoe is damaged and we’re stranded”.
He was full of praise for the gesture even though a proposal is yet to be presented and approval given for the project.
By Fred Duhoe