Sierra Leone Telegraph: 12 March 2021:
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Energy, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, yesterday expressed indignation and outrage at the rising number of incidents involving the vandalising and stealing of electricity cables and equipment at installations and networks across the country by criminals.
Less than 20% of households in Sierra Leone have access to continuous supply of electricity.
This rising number of cases of destruction and theft of power lines has been confirmed by the Ministry and EDSA as the root cause of the power outages and erratic supply of electricity in the country.
Alhaji Kanja Sesay said that he couldn’t fathom how criminals or unpatriotic citizens could even conceive the idea of destroying electricity installations with a view to preventing fellow citizens from enjoying one of their fundamental social rights.
He said that the Government through the Ministry of Energy is making efforts to address the perennial problem of poor electricity supply through various projects.
He described the thefts and destruction as damaging to the energy sector and genuine efforts in transforming the economy.
Alhaji Kanja Sesay said that legal action will be instituted, and punitive actions taken against those caught stealing and destroying electricity assets. The Sierra Leone Police and the Office of National Security have been informed, he said.
He maintained that the Ministry and EDSA will intensify active community sensitization and awareness raising campaigns, adding that communities should be told about the importance of owning the facilities.
He said that the National Commission for Civic Education has also been informed.
Mr. Sesay spoke about the huge revenue losses caused by these criminal acts, and spoke of plans to use technology in protecting installations.
“The Ministry of Energy and EDSA are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to assure citizens of reliable and affordable electricity and in protecting key electricity installations,” the minister said.