The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) over the weekend signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States through its U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide electricity to residents of Suakoko District, Bong County.
According to the memorandum, USAID and LEC will jointly support the development of a 77-kilometer (km) electricity transmission line from the Nimba County grid in Ganta to Gbarnga, Bong County.
The 33 kv line should provide electricity to 2,200 households and 150 businesses and institutions in the Suakoko area, including Cuttington University, the Central Agricultural Research Institute and Phebe Hospital.
According to the agreement, the goal is to expand the project and provide electricity to more people in Bong County, particularly in Gbarnga area.
The signing of the ceremony, which was held at the Foreign Affairs in Monrovia, is part of the United States Government’s efforts through its Power Africa Initiative to help Liberia provide access to affordable electricity.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Liberia Compact aims to encourage economic growth and reduce poverty in Liberia by focusing on access to reliable and affordable electricity.
MCC funding was critical to rehabilitating the Mt. Coffee Hydro Power Plant, which was dedicated last year, according to USAID.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, USAID Mission Director Dr. Anthony Chan pledged continued focus to help Liberia provide access to affordable electricity for its people, and to achieve its goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2030.
USAID has also been working with the Liberia Rural and Renewable Energy Authority to build the capacity of the authority and bring electricity to residents of rural Liberia.
To date, USAID has funded three renewable energy pilot projects that use biomass, biofuel or solar energy to bring electricity to residents and businesses of Gbanway and Solumba, Lofa County, and Kwendin, Nimba County.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, during the signing of the MOU, said two of the main priorities of her government have been roads and power supply, noting that with the CLSG project, electricity will reach several parts of the country soon.
President Sirleaf thanked USAID for filling the gap in terms of power connectivity; expressing hope that other partners could help in the same direction.
President Sirleaf said there are plans underway for electricity to be expanded from ELWA to the Roberts International Airport (RIA) and from St. Paul River to Tubmanburg, Bomi County.
She added: “The purpose for which this project stands fulfills one of the main priorities of this government. Getting generator power to the people is one of the means through which we can do this.”