Sierra Leone is facing serious challenges achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With significant population growth and massive urbanization in the country, President Julius Maada Bio’S government is under pressure to achieve economic growth, provide jobs and social services, and expand access to energy.
All of this implies a huge increase in the demand for energy. Thus, how the country decides to source its energy will determine economic transformation and prosperity of its people, and will also influence global climate change.
Despite these Challenges, Orange Sierra Leone, Save the Children and Rokel Commercial Bamk (RCBank) are serving as an exemplary models for other institutions to follow that it is possible to change the country’s energy production, distribution, and consumption patterns to prevent greenhouse gas emissions.
Orange Agric Director, Adams Dissa revealed in the Company’s 2022 Corporate Social Responsibility Report that they are committed to reduce their Carbon footprint to NetZero by 2040 through the acceleration of their Solar Projects.
According to him, the said move is in line with their ambition to reduce their CO2 emissions as 68% of their site has been solarised with Clean renewable Energy.
Meanwhile, a frantic efforts towards improving healthcare facilities in remote areas of Sierra Leone, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has joined forces with Orange Sierra Leone to launch the Health Grid Project. This initiative aims to provide power supply, enhanced connectivity, and clean water solutions to twenty-six off-grid community health centers, ensuring sustainable health facility electrification.
Led by Project Lead Fatmata Zubairu, the Health Grid Project is set to make a significant impact on the lives of communities in Sierra Leone. By providing sustainable power, internet connectivity, and clean water solutions, this initiative will elevate healthcare services and pave the way for better health outcomes in remote regions.
The Chief Executive Officer /Founder of Shout Climate Change Africa (SCCA) Finnex John Asibor, recognizes Orange Sierra Leone as one of the corporate institutions that have made conscious efforts to protect the environment and taking sustainable efforts to reduce it carbon footprints to combat the negative effect of climate change.
He commented on EHS Week recently held by Orange Sierra Leone in which the company highlighted various actions it has embarked on towards taking sustainable strides towards preserving the environment including solarization of 70% of its sites and the planting of 3000 trees at Mud Slide community at Mortomeh.
Orange (SL) Limited is committed towards protecting and preserving the environment. The Company acknowledges the potential environmental impact that its operations may have on the environment, and is therefore taking sustainable steps towards ensuring reduction of its carbon footprints in a bid to achieve the Orange group ambition of Net Zero Carbon by 2040.
In its strive to become a green friendly Bank, RCBank has celebrated its 4th anniversary of their Tree Planting Project at Petifu Masiaka on 27th July 2023.
RCBank Limited is committed towards protecting and preserving the environment.
The Theme for this year’s celebration which attracted hundreds of guests and Community residents is Plant more Trees, Keep your Environment Pollution-free.
Speaking on the rationale behind the Tree Planting Project, Managing Director Dr. Ekundayo Gilpin states, “Because of the increase human pressure on the natural resources that includes mining, charcoal burning, firewood, illicit logging etc, that are harmful to the environment which leave the country to susceptible drought and excessive heat, I thought of this soundly and contacted my team members to embark on tree planting project that will alleviate the susceptible risk to the environment. We leased the land and partnered with Keeping Hope Alive (KHA) for the cleaning, maintenance, monitoring the health of trees and ensuring friendly environment and for KHA to also advise us on key matters pertaining to the health and maintenance of the trees.
The tree planting project and arrangements initially started in early weeks of June, 2019 and because of the arrangements to get dignitaries, the first tree planting exercise commenced on the 5th of July 2019 after the clearing, cleaning and erection of our signpost and bill boards.”
He added that they have plans to construct a Botanical Garden at the site that will showcases wild life, rare species to reduce green house effect in the environment.
In January 2023, Save the Children, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and ensure their voices are heard. Their efforts towards Climate Change adaptation by integrating energy practices cannot be left off the hook.
The Solar Journey of Save the Children in Sierra Leone has been manifested in their Country Office (SL-CO) green energy practices in day-to-day operations. Through careful planning and execution, SL-CO has successfully transitioned towards green energy, serving as an exemplary model for other organizations and making a positive impact on the environment. The entire process involved three stages: Solar Energy needs assessment, Solar energy design and Installation.
Sierra Leone faces the challenge of constant availability of electricity, which often disturbs operations. By it solar installations, SL-CO has a more reliable source of energy for day-to-day activities, reducing the dependency on Generator, this has led the SL-CO’s offices enjoy uninterrupted energy supply, even during fuel shortages.
By using green energy, SL-CO is actively contributing to the reduction of pollutants that harm public health and the environment. These sustainable approach aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and create a greener future.
The current lack of access to reliable and affordable modern energy is seriously affecting service delivery in health and education and also slows down economic growth. At the same time Sierra Leone already faces a disproportionate negative impact of climate change though it accounts for less than 0.1 percent of Green House Gas (GHG). Extreme weather events, including floods already have impacts on energy generation and agricultural production.
Within the above context, the question is: how can Sierra Leone achieve its ambitious goals enshrined in the African Union’s Agenda 2063, promote the Sustainable Development Goals, and at the same time adhere to its commitments under the Paris Accord?
Realizing these Challenges, president Julius Maada Bio for the First time in Sierra Leone’s history appoints Dr. Kandeh Yumkella as Chairman, Presidential Initiative for Climate Change and, Renewable energy and Food security. As a policy action required the towards the country’s sustainable energy access.
In 2019, Dr. yumkella was part of several global initiatives supporting energy transitions in Africa including, serving as adviser to the Director General of the International Energy Agency, Coordinator of the AU-EU Sustainable Energy Investment Platform, and one of the facilitators of the UN-World Bank Health and Energy Platform for Action (HEPA) for Clean Cooking Solutions.
Acknowledging the crucial importance of energy as an enabler for achieving the development goals of health, food security, education and clean water and sanitation, Save the Children RC Bank and Orange SL are reputable institutions making frantic efforts towards reducing the Carbon Foot print in the environment.
Operating Solar energy systems incur lower maintenance costs compared to running generators. This cost-effectiveness further enhances Orange and Save the Children ability to allocate resources to crucial areas.