Prior to the commencement of the demolition exercise, heightened media campaign, door to door sensitization, announcements using PA system was done in project communities as well as a 48 hour notice stickers placed on every structure to inform them about the exercise.
The demolition exercise is led by the Freetown City Council with support from the Ministry of Lands, the Sierra Leone Police and EDSA.
Allie Conteh, a project affected person noted that the exercise is for their safety and for the development of Sierra Leone. ‘Imagine the changes that will take place in our lives as young people if we have big companies operating in our communities because of improved and constant supply of electricity. We will be gainfully employed and this unemployment that we now face will be a thing of the past’’ he said.
Madam Mafereh Conteh noted that since she moved her market stall to a new location, things have not been the same with the sale of her wares. ‘ I have lost most of my customers but my life is more important so I just have to adjust and besides you cannot fight government’, she added.
The Energy Access Project came into being after the signing of a grant agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Bank under the recipient-executed component of the Sierra Leone Infrastructure Development Fund supported by the British Department for International Development (DfID).
The grant in the tune of USD 16, 000, 000 (sixteen million US Dollars) was signed in June 2013 following an earlier approval of the project by the World Bank in January 2013.
The project aims to address key challenges facing the country’s national power supplier; the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA). These include, the reduction of losses in electricity supply in Freetown by investing in the rehabilitation of critical components of the EDSA’s supply network; which is considered as the most urgent step to enable expanded and more reliable electricity supply across Freetown and its environs; to improve the commercial performance of EDSA through the supply and installation of a Business Information System (BIS) and metering equipment which will help raise collection of rates and improve the overall commercial performance of the utility.
The Energy Access project is consistent with and provides the complementary strategic capacity building and investment resources that will help put Sierra Leone’s power sector on a more sustainable footing.