EC Approves 4.8 Million Euros for Rural Electrification
Feb 12, 2008 - The Analyst/All Africa Global Media
The European Commission approved a 4.8 million Euro
contribution (approximately USD 7 million) to a program
linking three counties to the West African Power Pool
As a result of the 30 month cross-border program,
131,000 people mainly in rural communities of Maryland,
Nimba and Grand Gedeh will be connected to the electricity
grid and supplied with power, a European Commission
release has disclosed.
The EC said that as a consequence of the extensive
destruction and vandalization of power infrastructure
during the years of civil war, no public supply of
electricity has been available to Liberia.
The non-availability of power is still a challenge
for the post-war restoration of economic activity.
Adequate and reliable power supply is one of the major
critical pre-requisites for poverty reduction and
While efforts are being made to restore power services
mostly to the Liberian's capital city and its environs,
Liberian rural communities are still sufferings from
complete lack of power supply.
Members of the Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS) have together identified the major
constraint that is currently thwarting the countries'
efforts at seeking access to cost competitive sources
of electrical energy for economic development as the
lack of adequate transmission linkages both within
member countries and between the national power systems
of the ECOWAS region.
In order to address the issue of power supply deficiency
within West Africa, the WAPP was created as a Specialized
Institution of ECOWAS; its scope of work is determined
by the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments.
The WAPP Organization, in collaboration with the
national utilities of both Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire,
namely the Liberian Electricity Corporation (LEC)
and the Societe d'Operation Ivoirienne d'Electricite
(SOPIE), will complete preparatory activities for
the cross-border electricity supply projects, as well
as undertake the construction of the Medium Voltage
(MV) and Low Voltage (LV) transmission lines, transformer
substations and service connections.
The action will facilitate the supply of electricity
from Cote d'Ivoire to a total of 18 communities or
towns in Maryland, Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties.
The supply of electrical energy from across the
border, since this is from hydro and natural gas sources,
promises to be more cost effective than the diesel-based
generation that is the only reasonable alternative
for the beneficiary communities.
It is expected that the action will provide power
for up to 131,000 citizens, for a number of local
commercial activities, as well as for social service
community facilities such as schools and clinics resulting
in the improvement of health delivery, educational
performance and school enrolling.
EC contribution to WAPP builds on previous and ongoing
EU interventions in Liberia to support the electricity
sector, with the overarching objectives of contributing
to the efforts of the Liberian government in reducing
poverty, strengthening the foundations for democracy,
providing political stability and rebuilding the social
and economic fabric of the country.