Over 33,000 households to benefit nationwide
Authorities at the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) yesterday began planting network poles in the Township of Caldwell, to connect homes and businesses.
It can be recalled that on February 19, 2018, residents of the Caldwell community blocked the only road connecting the area with other parts of Monrovia. The situation lasted for several hours as protesters chanted solidarity songs and left motorists stranded in the middle of the road.
At a well-attended groundbreaking ceremony held yesterday on the Lahjor football pitch in the community, Lewis Wleh, Caldwell’s Acting Commissioner, expressed gratitude to LEC’s management, as well as its partners, for erecting poles in the area.
Wleh described the initiative as a manifestation of development, noting that electricity provides security, preserves food and facilitates free movement of community inhabitants.
The program was attended by representatives of the World Bank and the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, led by Minister Gesler Murray, and officials of the LEC, including its CEO, John Ashley.
“We are grateful to the Liberian government and wholeheartedly welcome this important project. Today marks a very important day in this township because since May 26, 1990, if I am correct, the community encountered power outage in this part of Liberia,” Commissioner Wleh recalled.
According to him, since that time, the residents and those in adjacent communities have been living on electricity supplied by private generators over the years.
“Some of us spent US$10 on a daily basis just to purchase a gallon of gasoline to feed our generators, while others are spending much more per month for community electricity,” Wleh said.
He however assured authorities of the LEC and its partners of a close working relationship that would ensure that the project is speedily implemented, adding, “We are willing to provide manpower to assist in this direction.”
Henry Kimber, coordinator of the Caldwell Electrification Project, told the gathering that “very soon the LEC will connect and supply about 33,000 households, which will be increased to about 38,000 in the near future.”
Kimber assured that the project will cover both sides of the road from Double Bridge to Freeport onward to Somalia Drive, outside Monrovia.
The project, he said, will extend as far as Clay District in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, as well as Robertsports in Grand Cape Mount County, connecting communities along the way to the end of Bo-Waterside at the Liberia/Sierra Leone border.
The objective of the project, according to Mr. Kimber, is for residents to access reliable, affordable electricity, noting, “it is important in achieving LEC’s national mandate in terms of providing electricity nationwide.”
Kimber recalled how the Caldwell project is strategically positioned. He therefore promised to work until the project can achieve its desired result, thus lauding donors for their support.
The project is titled “Liberia’s Accelerated Electricity Extension.” It covers several components, including substation parts.
Mr. Kimber says he craves a smooth cooperation between Caldwell’s residents and the LEC team.
Mr. Murray thanked the donor community for helping LEC to execute its mandate by reaching the needy community with electricity.
M. Murray expressed optimism that the project will achieve its chosen result, but warned against power theft.