Residents of Manya Kpongunor in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of the Eastern Region have demonstrated against the deployment of soldiers for the installation of prepaid meters in their households.
They describe the action as intimidating and called for proper negotiations before the prepaid meter installation continues.
The ECG continued its first phase of installation of prepaid meters in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality on Tuesday, June 14 with military aid.
Residents are resisting the action and want some demands met.
“The over billing issues have not totally been resolved. Those who were shot have not been cared for, no one has sat with us to tell us anything about this prepaid matter. We are not saying we won’t pay light bill, consultations have to be made.”
Another resident, Sackey, wants the Konor of the area to intervene for them.
“When you go to the Ashanti Region, the chief there speaks for and on behalf of his people, he is called the king of gold because of the gold reserves in his area. Our chief must intervene for us to be called the King of Water because part of the Volta Lake is in our jurisdiction.”
The ECG in their press release on Monday, June 13 served notice it was going to continue its meter installation exercise and gave assurances.
“As agreed with all stakeholders, customers should please take note, the prepaid meters to be deployed in the Krobo District are new and therefore will not have any debt of customers on it.”
It further added that debt of 2014 to 2017 has been set aside. Debts from 2018 to 2021 are expected to be paid for over a five-year period.
Residents and customers are expected to pay 2022 bills and visit the ECG offices for dialogue on terms of payments.
The prepaid meters, according to ECG, would be distributed for free to all residents.
The MCE of Yilo Krobo Municipality, Eric Tetteh, in an interview on Tuesday, explained that the decision of using military aid to install prepaid meters is a last resort due to the activities of some people in inciting others to resist the installation of prepaid meters whilst ECG continue to pile debts as a result of failure by people to pay their bills.
The military personnel are expected to provide security and technical support to ECG officials until all prepared meters are installed for residents under the first phase of the exercise.
In 2014, the ECG installed a post paid meter in the two municipalities, Lower Manya Krobo and Yilo Krobo but residents raised concerns the meters were recording abnormal figures, resulting in huge bills.
They, therefore, demanded the ECG to check the error before accrued bills would be paid.
This has led to several protests and demonstrations, one of which resulted in a shooting incident that affected some residents.