By Lahai kpaka.
Minister of Energy, Alhaj Kanja Sesay addressing community stakeholders on the Renewable Energy Project implemented by UNOPS, supervised by the Ministry of Energy.
Following the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) electrification in Community Health Centers (CHCs) and the installation of solar mini girds in 54 rural communities across the country, the Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, together with Members of Parliament of the Committee on Energy and UNOPS have completed a four day site visit of solar mini grid installations in Kychom, Kagbere, Kamaranka, Bandajuma Yawei and Bumpeh village.
In his keynote message to various stakeholders during community engagements, the Minister said that the visit is part of government’s effort to extend the supply of electricity to every community. He noted that in order to depoliticize the project, he was accompanied by different political party representatives from SLPP, C4C, APC and NGC who constitute the Energy Committee in Parliament, adding that the aim of such collaboration is to ensure national cohesion on national development for people of Sierra Leone.
He reiterated that one of the government priorities is to provide rural electrification to various community households hence called on the private contractors to expedite the process of extending power supply to the communities.
More significantly, he noted that the project is beneficial for the health centers, adding that, it would enhance the quality of medical service to sick persons, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
He continued that the project would also ease economic burden on them by alleviating the high financial cost used in utilizing other forms of energy to sustain their livelihoods.
In line with this, Kanja Sesay disclosed that the government is currently in engagement with Electricity Water and Regulatory Commission (EWRC) to ensure that the people are able to pay for the electricity service at affordable tariff.
He finally emphasized to them that they would have to pay for the electricity service in order to ensure sustainability of the project.
Heads from OFF GRID POWER (OGP) SL Ltd, Winch Energy and Energy City Ltd Company contracted by government to supply electricity at community level, assured the people that they would expedite the extension of electricity supply to entire households in each community before the raining season commences. They expressed firm commitment to work hand in glove with various stakeholders with the aim to sustain the project.