Embarked on the building of 250 concrete poles
The Jungle Energy Power, an electricity distribution firm in Nimba County, is revamping its activities to boost the distribution of electricity across the county. Jungle Energy Power is he sole distributor of electricity coming from across the Liberia-Ivorian border under the West Africa Power Poll Project.
Speaking to the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview, the General Manager, Mr. Aleyou Keita, said the firm is currently building about 250 concrete poles to strengthen the distribution of electricity by replacing the makeshift poles across the county.
Mr. Keita explained that it costs too much money to get the wooden poles to Liberia and it also takes a long time to reach. Therefore, he said they have decided to contract some Ivoirians to do the molding of the concrete poles.
“We got to know in the Ivory Coast that nearly all the light poles are concrete poles, and so we asked our counterpart in the Ivory Coast and they responded by sending some men to do the molding for us,” he said.
The cost of the project is yet to be known, but Mr. Keita estimated it to be a little over a quarter of million, including materials and workmanship.
In 2016, the JEP took over the Nimba Grid of the Liberia Electricity Cooperation, which was connected to Liberia from the Ivory Coast by the West Africa Power Poll.
West Africa Power Poll connected three counties, including Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Maryland, respectively, but the Nimba grid was contracted to JEP as a parlor project for 10 years, making it the first public facility to be privatized.
The limitation of light poles has been hindering the rapid distribution of electricity, leaving many customers with the option to provide their own poles (most of them makeshift) in order to get connected faster. Some customers buy the poles and other accessories for not less than US$250 to get electricity to their homes.
“The issue of makeshift poles will soon be laid to rest in a shortest possible time,” Mr. Keita said.
The management also said they are putting in mechanism with the GSM companies for mobile payment of bills, which will accordingly be ready within the next one month.
“Our 7000 customers have been encountering problems in paying their bills, especially during the weekend, leaving most of them in darkness until the next working week. So we are working out modalities to ensure that customers pay their bills anytime through mobile money platform,” he disclosed.
Meanwhile, the JEP has reaffirmed its commitment to the electrification of Bahn City as pronounced by President Weah at a ground breaking ceremony during his recent county tour.