‘Addressing power theft now an emergency’, official says.
As part of effort to address the alarming rate of power theft across Monrovia and its environs, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has embarked on community engagement as a new strategy to end power theft.
Through the campaign, community dwellers will now serve as watchdogs in protecting their own transformers and connections to help the LEC address the menace.
At a gathering with residents of the Duport Road Truck Garage Community in Paynesville on Wednesday, November 21, 2018, the Communication Officer of LEC, James Kpargoi, alarmed that power theft has caused huge losses to the LEC’s revenue generation and, as such, there is an urgent need to address it.
According to Kpargoi, the Corporation loses barely 60% of what it is supposed to generate from the supply of electricity due to power theft.
“Addressing power theft is an emergency now for us. The LEC has lost and continues to lose millions of dollars of what we ought to generate,” said Kpargoi.
He said a community-based approach wherein community residents will help the entity to track illegal connections is being embarked upon.
“We decided to take the campaign against power theft to another level through community involvement and engagement. By this, the community will take ownership by acting as watchdogs for their transformers and installations,” he stated.
The LEC official disclosed that the corporation has also launched a campaign aimed at replacing damaged transformers, noting that the Truck Garage Community would be one of the many beneficiaries of that program.
“We are assuring you that we will replace your transformer, but you must also assure us that you will help us to secure it. You will be made to sign a commitment, and if on the contrary something happens, we will take away our transformer,” he added.
Mr. Bredan O’Connor, Manager of Supplies at LEC, said the LEC will heavily rely on the communities in addressing power theft.
O’Connor urged the community to be very vigilant because there are some imposters who behave as LEC agents and are doing illegal connections around the communities.
“Whosoever that comes in your community pretending to be employee(s) from the LEC and wants to do a connection must show a letter to that effect. In fact, what we have done is to identify our people by number. Every jacket that they wear has a number and you must see those numbers and copy them down before anyone climbs a pole in your community,” he asserted.
Mr. Christian Smith, Chairman of the Truck Garage Community lauded the LEC for its intervention to once again reconnect them.
Smith disclosed that the Truck Garage Community has been without electricity since July of this year but, following several engagements with the LEC management, they are now assured that power will be restored to their community. .
He said that as part of the community’s effort to track down criminals or power thieves, the leadership will set up a task force to monitor how connections are made.