By Sylvester Samba…………………………
A senior staff attached to the Ministry of Energy, Mr. Robin Mansaray has disclosed that government is making frantic efforts to see that all headquarter towns across the country get reliable electricity supply by 2018.
Mr. Mansaray said some of the initiatives taken by the government to meet such targets are to continue to build small Hydropower such as: Charlotte Mini Hydro project – 2.2mw, Bankasoka Mini Hydro project – 2.0mw, Dodo Mini Hydro Dam -6mw, Makali Dam -120kw and Yele Mini Hydro Dam – 250kw.
He further noted that one of their major goals is to increase renewable energy resource utilization from 56MW to 1229MW by 2030. Mr. Mansaray said government hopes to achieve such goal so that they can be in line with the 2030 Universal Access to Electricity.
Power For All, a locally based Non Governmental Organization which is currently advocating for each and every Sierra Leonean to have access to energy stated that electricity is fundamental to human and economic development, yet in Sierra Leone, 99 percent of the rural population is not connected to the main grid.
“In Sierra Leone only 13 percent of the population has access to electricity. In rural areas, only one percent of homes and businesses have access … 90 percent of those in rural areas use battery-powered torches … Batteries cost on average 10-15 percent of household income, but are as high as 66 percent of income in some regions, resulting in families unable to light their homes”, the organization noted.