Ministry of Energy
Bumbuna Town,Tonkolili District,Northeastern Sierra Leone,Thursday July 22,2021—— Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy,Alhaji Kanja Sesay,has led a high-powered delegation of senior government ministers,including the Ministers of Local Government and Rural Development,Defense, Environment,Internal Affairs,Youth Affairs and Political Affairs to the town of Bumbuna where he raised serious concerns over the scary drop in water levels at the dam at the apex of the rainy season.
Welcoming the ministers and other stakeholders,Paramount Chief of Dansogoia Chiefdom,PC Alimamy Bockarie Yallah Koroma III,said his chiefdom was happy to receive the delegation and expressed his thanks and appreciation to the delegation for the unprecedented reverence they had shown towards the institution of chieftaincy.
PC Koroma added that he had held fruitful discussions with the Minister of Energy on his visit to the area a fortnight ago,adding that stakeholders in the chiefdom were committed to cooperating with the government especially in the critical area of electricity.
Explaining the purpose of the visit,Minister of Energy,Alhaji Kanja Sesay,said that he had received worrying reports on his last visit to Bumbuna about the adverse impact human activities like farming and deforestation had posed to the survival and efficiency of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Dam.
He said he was particularly disturbed when the SALINI Plant Manager had told him that those activities were responsible for the drop in water levels. Mr.Sesay spoke about the Bumbuna Phase II Project which he said was in its design stage,adding that the project upon completion would generate a staggering 143 megawatts.
The Minister of Energy went on to say that the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Dam only generates a maximum of 50 megawatts at the height of the rainy season and usually drops to as low as 8 megawatts during the dry season.He said despite the seasonal drop in water levels,Makeni and Magburaka had always enjoyed electricity.
Mr. Sesay spoke about the critical significance of the Bumbuna Dam to the electricity demands of Freetown,adding that the other source of electricity in the form of the Karpowership had only been contracted as a back up plan to Bumbuna,especially during the dry season. He said the Karpowership was more expensive to run than the dam which was government owned.
He concluded by saying that he had reported those worrying concerns around the dam and their potential long-term impact on electricity to President Bio, who immediately asked the Chief Minister to put together the team that had visited.
Minister of Environment, Professor Foday Jaward,said electricity was critical to national development everywhere in the world,stressing that it was therefore imperative that the government and stakeholders in the chiefdom came together to address the menace.He spoke about coordination of efforts in relocating people.He described President Bio as a visionary leader who was concerned about reports around the dam.
In his contribution,Minister of Local Government and Rural Development,Tamba Lamina,said they had called different chiefdom stakeholders to the meeting because they saw them as actors in the formulation and implementation of policies aimed at reversing the worrisome trend.
Minister of Internal Affairs,Panda Noah,said he was speaking on behalf of the security sector especially when the government had placed emphasis on human capital development and security.
Other important personalities who were part of the delegation were the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy, Tamba Gbetuwa; the Deputy Minister of Political Affairs ,Amara Kallon; the Directors General of EDSA and EGTC;the Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Energy,Hon.Kekura Vandi; and stakeholders drawn from the energy,forestry and environmental sectors.
The energy sector reforms continue.