By Abdul Rahman Bah
On Tuesday 3rd October 2023 at the Ministry of Information weekly press briefing held at the Foreign Affairs conference Hall at Tower Hill Freetown, the Minister of Energy, Alhaji Dr. Kanja Ibrahim Sesay, said that he negotiated a 60 megawatts power supply from the Karpowership for Freetown for both dry and rainy seasons (20% supply for the rainy season and 40% in the dry season).
He said that they will have to renegotiate with the power supplier (Karpowership) for 120 megawatt, which will enable the country to have 24 hours electricity supply. “We met 16% of electricity and made it to 32%, but yet still we are living in the darkest world, with 70% of the people in the country don’t have access to electricity,” He said, adding that Sierra Leone has the lowest electricity access rates in the world.
Electricity is one of the most important sources of development that can improve a country, and without electricity you will not be able to access technology, especially mobile phones, the Internet, Hospital equipment etc. Thus, in order for the ministry to achieve the vision of President Maada Bio’s Big Five Agenda, there is the need for 24 hours electricity supply.
Some concerned citizens say that this is the second month since school re-opened and children others have to study and need electricity in their homes, but the way things are moving now, they envisage a return to the days of kerosine lamps and candles.
In the absence of sustainable electricity, factories and businesses will not be able to function at their capacity, and some may shut down office in the country, as the cost of running business on fuel for generators will cripple their businesses, especially in the current economic situation.
Kanja Sesay said that he is doing his best to help the people, adding that EDSA is a private company and that the Ministry has little hands in their operations, and will not dictate the tariff. This appalling situation has led to frustration among consumers across the country; with many lamenting over the substantial decrease in the amount of units they get after buying credits for their meters. “I usually top pop my meter with NLe100 and get about 48 units, but now, with the new tariff, my NLe100 will simply give me 36 units,” one angry consumer explained.