By Lansana Fofanah.
President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday commissioned a six megawatt solar project at the Newton Agricultural Site in Newton. The project aims at providing solar energy for some parts of Freetown and the Western Rural upon completion.
Delivering his keynote address, President Koroma expressed gratitude to the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development for providing the necessary funding for this project. “This is not connected to any political campaign but à continuation of our earlier promise made to provide energy for the least town in the country. No country can sustain any development in education, social services without electricity. Solar energy is the cleanest source of electricity which every part of the world has embraced “, he said.
President Koroma called on the community to be vigilant in providing security for the project as this will create sustainable employment for many youths. “Transforming the country can only be done through energy and this is a fulfillment of the 2007 promise made which had been actualized rather than being an empty talk. Health, ICT and education will never be active without electricity. This commissioning is the outcome of a successful engagement with sponsors from Abu Dhabi through the efforts of the late Ambassador Seray Timbo who pioneered the project”, he said.
Hon. Claude D. M. Kamanda, former Majority Party Chief Whip in the House of Parliament said that this is a ground breaking project meant for the electrification of Newton and its environs. “We have the mandate to deliver to our people who voted us for a change. Solar being the most sustainable and clean energy will ensure that, those who have left the rural areas due to electricity will start coming back when this project is completed. God created the world but became restless when he knew that there is need for light and he immediately ordered that. Just like how past prophets served God, so I will continue to be grateful to President Koroma even after power”, he said.
Hon. Kamanda said that this project will create more jobs and training facilities for youths and will help boost small businesses around the country.
Mr. Philip Matwin, Project Manager says Sierra Leone is a fortunate country to have this kind of project for the first time in the region and promised to execute the project in the shortest possible time.
He thanked the Ministry of Energy for working in partnership with sponsors for the renewable energy that is free from health hazards.
The Minister of Energy, Henry Macauley said that he was appointed to head the energy with a focused mind on creating light for Sierra Leone and that this solar project is part of the Energy Sector Strategy which was approved in September. “We now produce more than 180 Megawatts and over 350 Kilowatts. Despite the sabotaging of projects, we have been able to implement and achieve our goals, and until the last official day of this government, we shall continue to implement projects “, he said.
The outgoing Western Rural Chairman Alhassan Cole said that the government has done more in fulfilling promises made and that, the name of President Koroma is enough to win the March 7, 2018 elections.
By Lansana Fofanah.