10th March 2016: Ministry of Energy in collaboration with the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) has in last 3 weeks, visited the Reinforcement & Extension (R&E) of distribution network project sites. The visit was to see progress contractors have made since the project commenced in October 2015.
The R&E of low-medium voltage distribution network for Western Area is a government project which is funded by Islamic Development Bank IDB. The project will address low voltage and poor cable connections by improving on and extending the existing network.
STEG International Services, which a Tunisian based company and one of the best electrical construction companies in West Africa, is in charge of the project.
According to STEG International Project Manager, Mohamed Mezoughi, the objective of the project is to reinforce and extend lines as well as cover over 88 substations for the installation of transformers which include 48 stand-alone and 40 mounted transformers.
“5800 poles, and 2200 prepaid meters will be installed from Waterloo to Hamilton”, he furthered.
He gave a comprehensive rundown of what they have achieved since the “18 months duration project” started in October 2015.
He said they have installed 2300 poles of 9 meters height and 600 poles of 12 meters height, which is about 75 and 60 percent of poles installed respectively. And they are currently on stringing of cables and conductors in those communities.
“95% of the materials needed for this project have arrived in Sierra Leone,” he confirmed.
He extended thanks and appreciation to the Ministry of Energy, EDSA, their consultants and the community members for their relentless effort in supporting them achieved these so far.
According to the Minister of Energy, Engineer Henry Macaulay, the 18 months project is in line with the government’s mandate to provide electricity for all sierra Leoneans. So he is pleading with the community members to fully cooperate with government and its partners in making the project a reality.
“In the next few days transformers will be installed in these communities. Therefore, I am encouraging all electricity consumers to generate entrepreneur skills in order to help boost the country’s economy,” he said.
He reaffirmed that the project will be completed within the stipulated time.
Director Ibrahim Kabia, one of the Directors of EDSA also emphasized the importance of the project. He said the project will help facilitate the activities of EDSA.
“The more the extension of electricity network, the more EDSA supplies meters and electricity. So the importance of this project should not be overemphasized,” he added.
He reminded the community people about the importance of electricity and how government is focus on providing electricity for its people.
“Light is a life changer, and it is part of the government’s agenda for prosperity,” he continued.
He also admonished the community members to give maximum cooperation to the contractors, especially in the aspect of taking good care of the materials.
He said more development is on the pipeline so community members should really make use of this opportunity. In reaction to his call, residents of the Hasting, Grafting, and Hamilton communities including Honorable Pateh Bah expressed their profound gratitude for the development the government, ministry and its partners have brought to their door steps. They said electricity means life so they will make good use of the opportunity.
They further gave their commitments to fully cooperate with government and its partners in ensuring that this project comes to reality and issue of electricity problems will be a matter of the past. It all ended on a very positive, high note.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.