Electricity Restored To Zwedru, Others

By: Fredrick P. W. Gaye

LEC at work in Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County

Residents of Liberia’s southeastern counties of Grand Gedeh and Maryland have begun celebrating the ongoing electricity restoration to that part of the country after many years.

The cross-border electricity project being implemented by the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), was recently commissioned in Zwedru, Grand County during the visit of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the area. Grand Geneh’s electrification project was the second to commission under the cross-border project, the first being Nimba County’s project.

Speaking with journalists in Monrovia on Wednesday, LEC’s External Relations and Corporate Coordinator, Mr. Adolphus Scott, disclosed plans by the Corporation to officially commission the project in Maryland County soon; even though current is already in the capital, Harper.

According to Scott, as part of efforts to illuminate Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attaches serious importance to the West African Power project, from which three counties are initially benefiting, including Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Maryland.

He said President Sirleaf negotiated with EU and Ivory Coast for the cross border power project, aimed at bringing quality and affordable power Liberians, adding that Monrovia is not Liberia, and so providing electricity to rural areas is a laudable development for the country.

Scott revealed that, so far, about 60,000 persons and institutions are currently benefiting from the eight megawatts (8MW) power grid coming from Ivory Coast.

The LEC official explained that the power grid is being installed in three lines: one enters from Ivory Coast to Nimba County; one from Ivory Coast to Grand Gedeh County and the other from Ivory Coast to Maryland County.

He mentioned the overcoming of a serious problem LEC had with the 72-KM line in Grand Gedeh, which the Corporation solved to restore electricity in Zwedru, after the situation drew the President’s attention to mandate its immediate restoration.

Scott praised Grand Gedeh officials and citizens for their assistance and cooperation during the project, without whom he said it would have been more difficult.

“On behalf of the Management of the LEC, we want to say a big thank you to the people of Grand Gedeh County and the President of the Republic of Liberia in ensuring that the people of Grand Gedeh have electricity,” he averred.

At the same time, Scott alarmed the loss LEC continues to sustain as a result of power theft, indicating the the Corporation is losing 33% of its revenue to power theft.

He then called on Liberians to assist in fighting power theft because it is from the revenue the corporation expands transmission by purchasing poles, meters and otherv modern equipment.

The LEC’s External Relations and Corporate Coordinator said the aim of government is to electrify the entire country, but doing so also needs the assistance of the citizens by desisting from and helping to battle acts that undermine the aim.

He used the occasion to disclose that the Corporation has begun using smart meters and other state-of-the-art equipment to assist in minimizing power theft and other criminal acts as well as providing safe power.

Touching on provision of current to Monrovia and other parts of the County, Scott explained that LEC is doing everything possible to get people connected gradually. He said transmission lines are being installed in some communities and along the Monrovia-Kakata Highway. Scott told Liberians to be patient as government lobbies with partners for the establishment of power grids to boost generation. He said communities are mapped in their respective grids and once LEC obtains grids, they will get connected immediately.

LEC, he said, relies on its customers and so it has no intention to leave out anyone, and it is its statutory responsibility to provide services to the people.