By: Maima M. Wright, [email protected]
Residents in District #17 Montserrado County’s quest to see electricity may not be realized soon as the Liberia Electricity Cooperation (LEC) project is yet to be completed.
The project which started in July 2018 was expected to be completed by now.
Mr. Ezekiel Walkerware, project supervisor disclosed that the project is not expected to be completed any time soon because they are facing many challenges, “Right now, we are short on materials.”
Walkerware does not know when the project will end from these challenges that are posed to him and the team.
Currently, there are planted poles and homes are marked for meter registration, but the lone discussion is when electricity will be on in the district.
Ma Fatu Sirleaf, a resident, said she is so pleased that light will finally come back since the 1990 crisis.
She pays US$45 for alms to the commercial current provider, something she says is totally expensive.
“I can’t tell when the light will come, but I am happy that at least LEC started planting poles; and no matter how long it takes, I know the light will come one day,” she said.
Businessman Francis Beyan said the light will be of good help to his business and will also serve as security for the citizens and most especially the business owners.
Like Ma Sirleaf, Beyan complained about the high cost of commercial electricity owners.
Meanwhile, speaking to the district representative Hon. Hanson Kaizolu said the project is overdue and the contractors, MBH Power Private Limited along with the consultant WAPCOS Limited have caused too much delay.
“I’m very disappointed for the project to take whole four years and still not completed up to now” he explained but with the level of pressure on the contractors, I am hoping that the light will be here by December this year he continued.
The project is sponsored by the World Bank and is to supply and install 66KV/22KV sub-stations in greater Monrovia which starts from District #17 up to the Bomi corridor (Credit#:5680-LR) under the program Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project Additional Financing (LACEEP-AF)
The LEC requested International Competitive Bidding (ICB)on May 18, 2016, and closed on 22nd July 2016.
The bid was as a result of credit from the World Bank toward the cost of the Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project Additional Funding (LACEEP AF) and intends to apply part of the proceeds toward payments under the contract for the Supply & Installation of 66kV Transmission Lines in Greater Monrovia and Bomi Corridor.
Augustine Koffa, Electro-Mechanical Engineer said there are many challenges and that the demand is more than the supply. “Electricity in Liberia is insufficient.”
On Thursday, August 26, 2021, U.S. Ambassador Michael McCarthy toured the Liberia Electricity Corporation’s (LEC) Bushrod Island facilities, he emphasized that electricity generation, transmission, and distribution are very expensive.
The LEC’s international management has greatly improved LEC’s operational readiness and facilities. They were supported by donor funding, and they have the capacity to provide power to Liberians on a consistent basis. Donors like the United States and the EU have contributed to more than 15,000 new connections over the last three years and project to connect another 160,000 households and businesses in the next two.
But as you all well know, a reliable, consistent electricity supply is not the reality for most Liberians.
Also, the MBH on its website said “Supply & Installation of 66kV Transmission Lines in Greater Monrovia under World Bank Funded Tender No LEC/LACEEP/TRX/01/2016 and Supply & Installation of 66kV Transmission Lines in Bomi Corridor under World Bank Funded Tender No LEC/LACEEP/TRX/02/2016.”
Though transmission line is installed, electricity is yet to be seen in communities.