By: Austine Luseni
Bunumbu/Pedembu, Kailahun District, Saturday June 4,2022 Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr. Eldred Taylor, has at the launch of mini grid facilities at Pendembu and Bunumbu described the New Direction energy revolution in Kailahun district as stunningly unprecedented and monumentally historic.
Dr. Eldred Taylor returned to the district for the two commissioning ceremonies two weeks after superintending over the commissioning ceremonies of similar facilities at Koindu and Buedu in furtherance of the fulfilment of the manifesto promise of President Julius Maada Bio to give Kailahun an energy facelift.
Welcoming the Deputy Minister and his entourage at Upper Bambara and Pejeh West chiefdoms, Paramount Chiefs Hon. Cyril Foray Ngondoh and Dr. Shamsu Mustapha described the respective occasions as crucially important, noting that President Julius Maada Bio had shown himself as a man that was worthy of the trust of the people.
PCMP Hon. Ngondoh spoke about the historical significance of Pendembu, adding that the town was the terminus for the railway during the British colonial period.
PC Mustapha spoke about the strategic importance of Bunumbu,citing the role played by the Bunumbu Teachers’ College in professionally developing teachers and administrators before the civil war, and adding that the occasion was a fulfilment of a promise he had made to his people during the contest for the paramount chieftaincy.
While commissioning the facilities, Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr. Eldred Taylor, said the Government of President Julius Maada Bio was more than determined to transform Kailahun in every facet of development, adding that President Bio was of the view that energy was a critical driver of national development.
He said the facilities met the sustainability threshold and expressed his delight at the overwhelming number of willing customers who had signed up to enjoy the facilities. He described the facility at Pendembu as one of the biggest,noting that in the not too distant future,the mini grid at Daru would be commissioned.
Dr. Taylor said nine other towns in Kailahun district were on course to benefit from a new mini grid package for which a study had been completed with funding from the American government. He implored the people to own the facilities and to eschew the unpatriotic acts of illegal abstraction of electricity and the vandalization of assets.
PowerGen Country Manager,Hassan Suma, asked the beneficiaries to be proud of themselves for their outstanding cooperation and patronage. He said his company had a 20-year contract with the Government of Sierra Leone and erased fears of the facilities being a flash in the pan.
He spoke about the future role of his company and assured that two local on-site technicians would be recruited and customers would be taught on how to purchase tokens.
One of the illustrious indigenes of Kailahun,Financial Secretary, Sahr Jusu, expressed his joy and appreciation and reiterated the commitment of the Ministry of Finance to continuously supporting such developments.
The Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Emmanuel Junisa, gave an overview of the project.