Pressmen drawn from various electronics and print media houses in Sierra Leone have conducted a tour of electricity facilities and worksites and areas where EDSA installations have been criminally vandalised.
It could be recalled that there has been a surge or hike in the spate of the criminal vandalisation and theft of electricity installations and materials, which inevitably continues to impose a serious strain on EDSA’s capacity to evacuate electricity to consumers.
Also, there are ongoing aggressive works aimed at overhauling and or making improvements on the aged and decadent distribution and transmission infrastructure in the Western Area.
Minster of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay took pressmen to IMATT to enable them have a first-hand impression of the level of destruction that has been brought to bear on electricity installations, with specific reference to the vandalised primary and secondary substation at IMATT.
The minister of energy said he was gravely concerned by these unpatriotic acts, adding that saboteurs were bent on derailing or stymieing sustained and conscious efforts in the sector. He noted that President Bio was aware of the incidents and had given him instructions to take every legal and procedural step to bring culprits to book.
He assured pressmen that with the collaboration of the security sector, positive results are being recorded. He spoke about the several arrests that have been effected and the intensification of community sensitization programs. He called on journalists to help create the necessary awareness in citizens with a view to making them own their transformers and other facilities.
Alhaji Kanja Sesay and his team also led pressmen on an inspection tour of worksites in Eastern Freetown. In Eastern Freetown, the minister observed that there were serious challenges with the line hosting the villages’ feeders, adding that the facility had imploded because of the pressure it had, making it challenging or difficult to transport electricity to consumers.
Based on technical advice, the minister in collaboration with EDSA, decided to do critical adjustments to the 54 feeders between Ojuku and Benguema and the seven transformers at Kola Tree which covers some part of Foamex at Calaba town.
Alhaji Kanja Sesay assured that once the work on the new and expanded line between Foamex and Wanpole was completed in June this year, the pressure on feeders would be drastically reduced to enable residents enjoy quality and uninterrupted electricity.
The minister used the occasion to show pressmen how residents and others were illegally abstracting electricity through unmetered supply, use of undersized cables and poles, wrong tariff system and illegal connections. He called on citizens to always utilize the appropriate and legal channels whenever they want to connect to the grid.
The minister together with his team is poised to continue with the inspection tour.