Bo City, Southern Province, Saturday 28 November 2020 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has recognised the support from the UK’s Department for International Development, DfID, African Development Bank, AfDB, and other development partners for committing to the country’s energy expansion project.
“Last year, I urged partners to support our building of a robust energy infrastructure. I also called for support with capacity building, training and knowledge transfer, and support for new energy project development across the country. Allow me to single out DfID and the ADB for their great contribution and their support in realising this project.
“37,000 more households, in addition to the 17,500 households already connected, located in Bo, Kenema, Yamandu, Baoma, Jembeh, Gerihun, and Tikonko will be supplied with reliable electricity when they install pre-paid meters. The following are key deliverables for this project: provide a new transmission line between the two cities; rehabilitate distribution networks in both cities; and construct two new primary substations – one at Bandajuma in Bo District and another at Bandama in Kenema District.
The President said with those improvements, the transmission and distribution system for the cities and the towns would be more reliable and robust, adding that as a consequence, there would be reduced losses during the power evacuation and distribution process and frequency of power outages would be much reduced.
Head of DfID in Sierra Leone, Kobi Bentley, said she was privileged to be a part of the implementation of the expansion project, adding that her government supported Sierra Leone with over £30 million to improve the lives of the people of Bo and Kenema with reliable power supply.
She also assured that the UK was committed to supporting the country in the areas of good governance, upholding the rule of law and access to energy, adding that poor electricity supply over the years had greatly affected the livelihood of the people but expressed hope that the project would provide that platform for quality supply of power to households and businesses.
Country Program Officer for African Development Bank, Felicitas Atanga, expressed appreciation to President Julius Bio for providing the political will to implement a project that was supposed to have been implemented in 2017.
Ms Atanga noted that the Bank and the UK government had provided $48.5 million for the project and assured that they would closely monitor its implementation.
Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, said that it was an honour to witness the official launch of the project, noting that the growth in the population of Bo and Kenema cities was a testament to the need for the expansion to the electrification of the two towns.
He also maintained that the current electrification project was reliable, sustainable, and affordable and would increase access to electricity supply, adding that the implementation of such a wonderful project was in line with his party’s manifesto of providing sufficient energy supply for the citizens of the country.
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