By Emmanuel wise Jipoh
The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has commenced the Gap Communities Electrification Project (G-CEP) Project, which seeks to expand electricity in slum communities and help curtail power theft.
The Executive Director for Engineering and Major Connections (PEMC) at LEC, Dele I. Shobayo, said the project is an effort to overcome power poverty while decentralizing electricity to foster socio-economic development and improve livelihoods of residents.
According to Mr. Shobayo, communities targeted were not initially part of the LEC- Power- grid plan across the country, but it’s the Corporation’s own way of supporting government’s efforts to improve livelihoods while emphasizing that the initiative with support from donors, is to help reach out to communities that were not mapped in an effort to halt heavy load on transformers by people involved in power theft.
“This exercise is our usual routine’ and work; what we have come here today to do is to track the progress of the gap communities electrification project (G-CEP) so that those communities that were not initially captured as part of the LEC- Power Grid, and to ensure we place transformers in these communities so that they can benefit electricity”, said Shobayo.
He said the Gap Communities Electrification Project (G-CEP) is an initial pilot project targeting four communities, including 72nd Army Camp Field Community, Lonestar Cell Number One, Jacob Town, and Iron Factory Community, respectively.
He assured that these communities will soon benefit from genuine electricity services that will be switched on by the Chairman of the Board Monie R. Captan as part of efforts to foster socio-economic development and prosperity to residents, serving over 1,500 private households and businesses, such as provision shops, bakeries and mobile recharging booths, among others.
However, Mr. Shobayo acknowledged that electricity remains a huge gap that needs to be filled in the country’s journey to fulfilling its full potential.
In response, beneficiaries of the targeted communities have lauded the Government of Liberia through the LEC Management for timely reaching out to them.
Elder David Lame, of Lone Star Cell Number One, Jacob Town Community, lauded the LEC team for restoring electricity to the community, which has been finding it very difficult to have electricity, something, he noted poses threat to safety of residents and increases crimes.
Elder Lame said that with the coming of the gap electrification project, security is being restored to the community.
Also speaking, Mr. Senisee Sesay, Chairman of the 72nd Community commended the LEC for the initiative and explained that the community had been challenged by lack of electricity over the years.
The electrification of the community will help to alleviate poverty and improve livelihoods, as gone are those days when residents used to suffer to charge their phones and carry on other basic social services, said Mrs. Krubo Mulbah, Chairlady of 72nd Army Camp Field Community.
“Thanks to the Government of Liberia and people of LEC for fulfilling their promise to us as a people; we have been suffering over the years for electricity and this will go down in our hearts, Chairlady Mulbah expressed with joy. Editing by Jonathan Browne