Despite handing over the Bakasoka hydro dam to the government of Sierra Leone by the Chinese contractors of Hunan Construction Company in November, 2015, residents of Port Loko will not enjoy electricity supply until the beginning of 2018.
The above was disclosed to Concord Times by Abdul Ajasco, Site Manager, Hunan Construction Company, Bakasoka mini hydro in Port Loko, on Wednesday, during an interview at his residence in Port Loko town.
He said the hydro dam, which was expected to produce 2.2 megawatts electricity supply to Port Loko Township, was 100 percent completed and that the Chinese had long handed it over to the government of Sierra Leone upon completion of the construction work.
He stated that the project to install poles and transmission lines would last for 10 months, after which, residents of Port Loko town would start to fully enjoy electricity supply at the beginning of 2018.
“What we are waiting for now are the distribution lines but their installations are ongoing. The team from China was on the ground and they have been digging holes in the entire township for the installation of poles. They will soon start to install the thermal plant which will complement the effort of the hydro dam that has been handed over since November, 2015,” he said.
He disclosed that the hydro dam, which was constructed to supply electricity to the township, will for the first one month of its operation supply electricity to over 600 government offices, quarters and commercial entities.
He said the entire township will benefit afterwards but priority would be given to the aforementioned places.
He said at the initial stage of the installation of the transmission lines, they were having a lot of constraints because land owners were refusing to give up their lands to dig and install poles.
He noted that the paramount Chief of Maforki Chiefdom, P.C Alikalie Mellah II, called them to a meeting and informed them that they would be paid for digging and installing of poles on his/her land, because the project was community development driven.
He disclosed that the Chinese government donated a portable machine that could be used to supply electricity to the township of Port Loko should in case the hydro dam breaks down.
He noted that the government of Sierra Leone would provide two thermal plants to the town to ensure a constant supply of electricity supply in case of any shortage of water during the dries.