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Sierra Leone: Theft threatens delay in regional power project

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy has raised alarm at the spate of theft at one of the project sites in its implementation of the ongoing work on the West African regional power project.Minister Alhaji Kanja Sesay said on Monday that despite the huge progress made by the contractor, the spate of theft of construction materials has the tendency to delay the project.

The West African Power Pool (WAPP) project, conceived in 2013, is an Ecowas initiative which seeks to increase access to energy to its citizens by linking member countries with higher power generation capacities to those with lower generation capacities.

The World Bank funded project is being implemented in groups, with Sierra Leone belonging to the group that includes Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Liberia. A total of 56 towers and three sub power stations are being constructed in Sierra Leone alone, in three districts: Tonkolili in the north, Kenema and Kono in the east.

The contractor reportedly complained theft in the northern flank of the country, in the town called Bumbuna, where one of the substations is being constructed. “Our concern about this is that each time they steal a material it takes a month or two to replace them,” said the minister.



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