By Fonike & Lahai
President Koroma alongside the Ministry of Energy and Partners and the Chinese Embassy, on Tuesday 12th December 2017 commissioned the Bankasoka Hydro Dam in Port Loko town which will produce about 5 MW of electricity supply including Makali and Charlotte dams respectively. This remarkable event attracted key stakeholders – the Minister of Energy and team, the Chinese Ambassador and team, former MPs, and Cabinet Ministers as well.
In his short statement, the Chinese Ambassador – Mr. Wu Peng said the hydro plants that have taken two years to construct and Network by the two Chinese Companies (Hunan & Xanzi) were to strengthen the brotherhood between Sierra Leone and China. He furthered that these two companies are well known for their professionalism and so he was confident that that the dams were well constructed to last for long.
The Bankasoka (2MW), Charlotte (2MW) and Makali (120KW) were jointly constructed and wired by the Government and the Chinese Government at a cost of about $ 60 million US dollars.
The occasion was chaired by the former Minister of Energy – Haja Hafsatu Kabbah and various statements were made by the Minister of Energy – Amb. Henry Macauley, Member of Parliament – Alhaji Dumbuya and the Paramount Chief – PC Malla II before President Koroma then switched the Hydro on, to the excitement of the people in Port Loko.
Before the occasion above, President Koroma, the Energy Minister and foreign partners from Abu Dhabi also turned the sod for the 6 MW Solar Park Project at Newton in the Western Rural Area.
Mr. Philip Matwin of UAE in his statement commended the government for the developmental strides on roads and electricity across the country. As the Project Management leader, he thanked the people of Sierra Leone for supporting the project thus far and assured of timely delivery of the Newton Solar Park Project as planned.
The President during both events reiterated that transforming the country through energy would equally augment the Educational, Health and other key sectors which would further diversify the growth of the country’s economy. He said the Solar Park Project, the Bankasoka, Makali and Charlotte dam would provide jobs and limit the migration of people from rural to urban areas in search of access to electricity.
He however acknowledged UNIDO for initially conducting the feasibility study for the Bankasoka Hydro dam but he reaffirmed that the construction and commissioning of the dam was a fulfillment of his Government’s promise to the people in 2007 which has been actualized.
In his statement, the Minister of Energy, Amb. Henry Macauley thanked both the Chinese Government and U.A.E for the implementation of the various projects. He informed stakeholders that he was appointed into office to ensure that electricity becomes pervasive in the country. He dilated that both projects are part of the Energy Sector Strategy which essentially gears towards energy sustainability. The Energy Minister also commended his predecessors for their hard work in improving the Energy Sector and lavished praises on his two dynamic Deputy Ministers (Alhaji Hassan Barrie & Mr. Osmond Hancils), the Permanent Secretary (Mrs. Zainab Buya-Kamara), Director Benjamin Kamara and team for working hard in ensuring the actualization of the Bankasoka and other successful projects.