By Alvin Worzi
In a campaign to replace rotten electricity transmission poles and check customers’ lines, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), Foday S. Sackor, over the weekend oversaw the disconnection of hundreds of homes in Matadi and Lakpazee for power theft.
It can be recalled that an eight year old boy while playing with his friend last Wednesday was electrocuted in the Matadi Community after touching a metal pole that was electrically charged. His mother who rushed to his rescue also perished.
Director Sackor has vowed to ensure that the individuals who are illegally supplying power that led to the deaths of two persons in the Matadi area are brought to book and face the full weight of the law.
Matadi and Lakpazee are heavily populated residential areas of Sinkor in Monrovia.
Director Sackor, promised to work with community residents to ensure that illegal suppliers of power in the area account for the deaths of the boy and his mother.
He extended sympathy to the bereaved family and the community for what he termed as an unfortunate situation, but said it was not the LEC’s fault. He attributed the deaths to power theft and illegal connections.
“The most important thing is for the community to help us find those who are involved in power theft. If they are caught, they will be arrested and prosecuted. Many people are running these lines underground and this is the rainy season. You cannot play with current. We encourage all of those who want current to visit LEC at the Waterside office and legalize their connections, and we will send people to help you,” he admonished.
He assured residents of Matadi of massive connections in the area, while warning them to stop power theft “because it robs the government of huge sums of revenue,” while at the same time robbing many people of their lives.
Also speaking, the Manager for Energy Monitoring at the LEC, Mr. Patrick D. Kulagbanda, said that the entity has been finding it hard to curtail power theft despite its efforts.
Mr. Kulagbanda said power theft in the various communities is an organized crime that involves residents of the communities (who knowingly pay for illegal connections) and the alleged perpetrators who do the illegal connections).
For his part, Peter Nyemah, on behalf of the community residents, called on the management of LEC to move in swiftly if they want to reduce the issue of power theft in the area.
He pointed out that there will be an increase in criminal activities if the community is left in darkness, and promised to expose anyone caught in power theft.