Kenema City, Eastern Province, Friday 27 November 2020 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has launched the Bo-Kenema Network Rehabilitation and Expansion Project in Kenema while emphasising the importance of energy supply to national development.
He thanked donors and partners like the British Department for International Development, African Development Bank among key partners who supported the project. He talked of his government’s plans to build robust energy infrastructure, train citizens to ensure a smooth knowledge transfer regime and deliver on the new energy projects.
The President also stated that upon the completion of the different energy supply project components and deliverables, he was hopeful that in the not too distant future electricity supply would be steady in the southern city of Bo, Kenema in the east and towns like Gerihun, Baoma, Yamandu, Tinkoko and Jembe in those part of the country.
”My government recognises the impact of energy insecurity on quality of life, public service delivery and business development. Access to energy is good for learning and education. With electricity, students can use a wide array of ICT facilities to access information, communicate and learn new skills and technology,” he said.
President Bio also noted that access to reliable energy supply could support the establishment and enhancement of huge financial and communication facilities, adding that his government had insisted on providing reliable energy access to Sierra Leoneans because it was critical to development.
Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, said that after two years the government was in a better position to adequately assess and reflect on progress in the energy sector.
He said the project was very important because it would improve on the already existing and potential energy generation and distribution efforts of his ministry, adding that donors had already pulled out of the project, which started in 2017, before his intervention to build confidence in the process of delivering the project.
President at Alpha TND Limited and contractors of the project, Avinash Dadhich, disclosed that the project was going to directly benefit households, small businesses and manufacturing units located in the towns of Bo, Kenema and Blama, adding that more than 500,000 persons in general, would benefit from a better power supply in one way or another.
“The project seeks to enhance the reliability of power supply for existing consumers by adding 4 new Substations including 2 x 66 kV Substations and provide 37,000 additional connections to the grid. The final development goal of the project is to ensure reliable power supply and access through a complete rehabilitation, improvement and extension of the distribution network enabling newly established communities who do not have access to electricity to be connected to the grid,” he said.
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