Grand Bassa, Gbarpolu, other areas benefit from EU funded project
Emmanuel Aziebor, program director of Light Up Liberia (LUL) says about 30,000 people are expected to get electricity at the end of an ongoing solar power distribution in seven of Liberia’s 15 counties. The LUL Program is a European Union funded project implemented by Mercy Corps Liberia.
Mr. Aziebor made the assertion yesterday at a one-day solar photovoltaic (PV) Curriculum Stakeholders Evaluation workshop held at a local resort in Paynesville. The program brought together students, government officials and representatives of partnering organizations.
The overall objective of the Light up Liberia program is to reduce poverty and improve stability and living conditions of the rural people in Liberia.
Mr. Aziebor said the program has provided electricity to 25,000 people and is working currently in seven counties, including Bong, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Lofa, Gbarpolu, Nimba and rural Montserrado Counties.
“We focus on training the young people on design, installation and maintenance of solar PV systems. We happy to work with these students, because they are already taking courses in electricity so it becomes easier to train them,” he said.
According to him, those trained by Light Up Liberia are residents of the organization’s operation area in Liberia, stating “we are currently working with young people in technical and vocational institutions in the country to make this a career.”
He said LUL is working with Stella Maris, Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC) Tubman High School, AVTP, which have graduated 191 technicians in all. Also, “we provide them the logistics and support,” he said.
According to him, the program seeks to increase access to modern, affordable, sustainable and scalable energy services for the rural poor, improved access to financial services for increased access to energy and economic opportunity.
The program also aims to reduce poverty and improved planning and coordination within the rural energy sector and more private sector engagement in rural electrification solutions.
“While extending solar to homes is important, we also need people to manage and install it. Our strategy approach is to support institutions in Liberia. We need to train technicians who can work with private companies to install solar in various homes and businesses,” Mr. Aziebor said.
Kwasi Gyeabour, Mercy Corps Country Director lauded authorities of Light Up Liberia Program and participants, including students for the level of commitment in providing electricity to the rural communities.
According to Mr. Gyeabour, the one-day event was cardinal for all stakeholders, which is aimed at providing affordable power to the people of Liberia.
“We have been working for the past two years to introduce renewable energy to schools. It’s important for us to know or evaluate our performance and how to reach to other communities,” Mr. Gyeabour said.
He said Mercy Corps is prepared to work with stakeholders to elevate the program to another level, thereby benefiting the targeted audience across the country.
“We can work together to decentralize energy and make Liberia a better place for everyone,” Mr. Gyeabour added.
Stephen V. Potter, program director of Rural and Renewable Energy Agency of Liberia (RREA) said he was delighted to form part of the program, lauding participants for the support.
Mr. Potter said his organization is also involved in accelerating energy services to rural residents in Liberia.
According to him, the organization has developed its rural strategic plan that will run up to 2030, with key focus on five major programs, including working with the Liberia Electricity Corporation to grow the grid in rural Liberia.
“We will setup a decentralized grid within rural Liberia and provide space for partnering organizations where solar and other mini grids and green energy initiatives are best suited,” he said.