By Abdul Bero Kamara (Chief)
Effective yesterday 10/10/2022 the people of Kono would start having uninterrupted 24/7 electricity …..oops! Sorry these ain’t my words, but that of our President Julius Maada Bio
During his forty-five minutes speech on yesterday 10/10/2022 at the Electricity ground in Koidu Town, President Bio told his supporters, and school children that the electricity challenge for the Kono people is going to be thing of the past after he would have turned the switch on.
Since it is forbidden to tell a President that he had lied; however, it is appropriate to say the first gentleman was very economical with the truth to the people of Kono
The roving Camara of the last man Standing was already in Koidu town, main Kainkordu Road to be specific at 7 am before the President got there, and by 8 am, the camera observed that students were coming from different directions heading towards the clock tower
From the camera, my first impression was that probably these students were converging, and getting ready to march since it was a holiday that was been commemorated for the birthday of Prophet Mohammad (SAW)
But after a second thought, I had to press one of the buttons of my camera, and new information was relay back to me that the students were converging at the clock town to welcome the President who was scheduled to be in Town to turn the Electricity light on
Which light again, I asked myself. But at that point, my instinct was telling me it could probably be the West African Power Pool (WAPP)
Background to the right West African Power Pool (WAPP)
What is this WAPP?
The West African Power Pool Project is a specialized initiative of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) covering 14 out of 15 regional countries in the West African zone.
It was formed during the 22nd Summit of ECOWAS Heads of States and was created on 5 December 1999 at the 22nd summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
WAPP deals with the provision of electricity to the four Mano River Union Countries and seeks to offer reliable and affordable electricity which has been a perennial problem for the beneficiary countries.
It involves a power transmission Line of 225 KW running through 1,330 KM with eleven substations across the four countries from which Liberia will have Fours, Guinea two and Sierra Leone five stations: Kenema, Bumbuna, Fadugu, Kamakwie, and Kono.
TRANSCO- CSLG is charged with the responsibility to run these projects- The CLSG project is a structuring project which, in its first phase, will enable Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to import electricity from Côte d’Ivoire.
This project is estimated at an overall
cost of UA 331.51million, net of taxes, will be
implemented over the 2014-2017 period. The
contribution of the Bank Group (ADF, FSF and NTF) amounts to UA 128.15million (or
38.66% of the total cost).1.2. The direct beneficiaries of the project are the residents of it
Whilst Kono is just one substation out of the five needed to be completed in Sierra Leone, the CLSG entire program falls under the category of ongoing projects styled as “Under Implementation” on the Ecowapp website, meaning it is not a completed project.
Sadly, the project has been politicized, hence some of the people of Kono have been convinced to believe that the project was brought by President Bio, and above all they were told they will be having uninterrupted electricity effective immediately
Before now Kono was enjoying 24 hours of electricity, until when in April 2018 the SLPP government relocated to Bo one of the Thermal Generators that was installed by the APC Government.
What the President didn’t tell my Kono people was that WAPP is not an SLPP project, secondly that it is just the first phase which has not been fully completed and power would not be available for 24/days.
Also, he didn’t tell my Kono people that it was a political stunt to get the Kono votes in 2023, oblivious to the fact that he has woefully failed the nation.
You could recall President Bio in his words during the commissioning of a similar substation in Kenema on December 24 2021
He claimed, “Kenema ahead of other parts were going to have an energy supply that will go on 24 hours.”
Unfortunately, it is almost a year now that Kenema and Bo (East and Southern) Sierra Leone are still experiencing power outages, which is not only politics but deception and big lies.
So in that vain by the time the President leaves Kono today 11/10/202, the power supply will revert to the regular power outage.
Undoubtedly, by the time we get to 24th June 2023, the people of Kono would have come to the realization that it was all deception, and lies and then would it would be payback time to vote President Bio out at the ballot box.