The Ministry of Energy has issued a press statement about the burning of huge quantities of electricity poles in Tombo.

The ministry stated it condemned such acts by unpatriotic citizens who are bent on reversing the gains of the Government through the Ministry of Energy, EDSA, and Private Partners.

In the press statement, the ministry highlighted the different works to be done with the poles burnt in Tombo and promised to undertake proper investigations to bring the perpetrators to face the full force of the law.

“The Ministry of Energy has received reports of the deliberate burning of a huge quantity of electricity poles at Tombo in the Western Rural area by some mischief makers or unpatriotic citizens.

The Ministry is deeply concerned by this development and diametrically condemns the actions of these criminals who are insidiously bent on reversing the gains the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Energy and EDSA and private partners continue to make in the energy sector.

The Ministry wishes to draw the attention of the general public to the following important information:

(i)That the deliberately torched poles were part of imported wooden poles, some of which were symbolically erected in October this year as part of the Western Area Distribution Network Expansion Project.

(ii)That the project referred to above is broad in scope and key to helping the Government of Sierra Leone improve on the current network or infrastructure, and by extension, expand access to electricity in the Western Area.

(iii)That the project entails the construction of five substations from Aberdeen in the West to Waterloo in the East. The project materials have been mobilized at different sites. The torched poles were amassed at Tombo in anticipation of erection and the commencement of the stringing of cables.

(iv)That the project was expected to be completed between February and March of next year, but that this arson will not only hinder the effective implementation of the project but will as well affect its timeline.

(v)That the Ministry of Energy had faced serious opposition or resistance in the same community when it was engaged in the process of acquiring land for the project.

In light of the above, the Ministry of Energy would like to inform the general public that it has taken conscious steps to bring the unfortunate development to the attention of law enforcement agencies.

The general public is assured that the matter will be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators will face the full force of the law.

The Ministry assures all of its tireless commitment to providing reliable and affordable electricity to citizens”.