The All People’s Congress (APC ) Government will start celebrating its third year in office this weekend. Talking with top officials of State House today, COCORIOKO learnt that President Ernest Bai Koroma and the Government are in celebratory mood , because they have many achievements to rejoice over as they look forward to a thrill-packed anniversary .
One of the President’s top men at State House , Mr. Mohamed Gibril Sesay , told this newspaper that President Koroma, on assuming office, promised the Sierra Leonean people that he would start to turn the country around in three years and he has achieved it. In just three years, the President has not only fulfilled many of his promises but he has done exactly what he promised– start turning the country around.
One of the biggest turn arounds in Sierra Leone after President Ernest Koroma came to power was the movement of the country from darkness to light. Before President Koroma came to power , Sierra Leone had the dishonorable distinction of having the darkest capital city in the world . But within 90 days of ascending the throne, President Koroma restored electricity in Sierra Leone with his thermal energy project and before his second anniversary he completed the Bumbuna Hydroelectricity Project. This is a flagship achievement by President Ernest Bai Koroma because it has laid the basis for industrialization in Sierra Leone.
An excited Mr. Gibril Sesay said : ”Government vigorously pursued the completion of Bumbuna Hydro Electric Project. The project that had been delayed for over two decades was completed and launched by His Excellency within two years .”
Under the APC Government’s electrification scheme, President Ernest Koroma’s administration achieved the following :
Electricity to Freetown Within Three Months of taking power
• Soon after coming to power, President Koroma, as a short term emergency measure to provide electricity to the capital Freetown until the completion of Bumbuna, engaged the services of an Independent Power Provider This was done within three Months
Completion of Bumbuna
• Government vigorously pursued the completion of Bumbuna Hydro Electric Project. The project that had been delayed for over two decades was completed and launched by His Excellency within two years. Bumbuna generates 50 mg of electricity
• Extension of Bumbuna electricity supply to other towns –Makeni, Lunsar and Bumbuna Town is ongoing
New Thermal Plants
• Government installed a 16.5 thermal plant at Blackhall, to further increase the supply of electricity to Freetown
More Electricity in the South East
• The BKPS in the South East is also been expanded to provide affordable electricity to more communities. Power generation has been doubled from 2 to 4 megawatts;and plans to expand the Dodo Dam to ensure all year round supply of electricity is on going. and the moribund thermal plant has been refurbished and now produces 1.5mg. By April 2011, power generation will increase to 6mg
Electrification of provincial cities and towns
• A program of electrification of provincial towns and cities has commenced. This project will cover Kabala, Bo , Makeni, Bonthe , Pujehun, Port Loko , Moyamba, Kambia, Lungi Kailahun, Magburuka, Koidu and kenema
• Plans are underway to increase the generating capacity of Bumbuna from 50mw to 500MW through the construction of a second dam
Solarization and rural electrification
• Embarking on the provision of solar energy to light uo city streets and homes in rural communities.
• Government is providing funds for the construction of the Bare Foot Solar Engineers Training Centre at Konta Line Village, the first ever in the continent of Africa.
• homes have been solar electrified in several villages, including Mamusa, Blama Massaqoi, Kissy Koya, Makandeh and Mambioma Villages.
Another achievement by President Koroma that will be cause for much jubilation during the Third Anniversary celebrations will be the the turn around in Agriculture ( farm for business) . Agriculture is currently priority number one in the President’s Agenda for Change. The government ensured increased Budgetary Allocation to Agriculture .
• From paltry 1.6% in 2007 to 7.7% in 2009 and now stands at close to 10%.
• President is champion head of state for Agriculture in Africa!
In keeping with its commitment to make Sierra Leone self-sufficient in food productions , the government launched a Tractorization scheme, which has the capacity to turn agriculture in Sierra Leone from subsistence farming to business-oriented farming. Under this scheme :
• 265 tractors and other agricultural machinery were acquired last year and deployed
• A landing craft capable of moving 12 tractors along the coastline of Kambia, Port Loko, Moyamba, Bonthe and Pujehun was provided
Rehabilitation of Inland Valley Swamps
• A total of 2,500 hectares of inland valley swamps have been rehabilitated and developed
Also to be toasted during the anniversary celebrations is the Government’s Small Holder Commercialization Programme
• The SCP will support the Smallholder farmers to move from subsistence to commercial farming – “farm for business”
• Farmers in every District will be provided with improved planting materials, and machinery including power tillers, rice threshers and rice cutters, rice mills,drying floors, fertilizers, assorted livestock, drying floors, packaging, storage and input/output marketing outfits
• 50 Agricultural Business Centres (ABCs) which will house the agro-processing facilities
• 30 Rice Mills will be constructed. Two of the mills with a capacity to mill 20 bags an hour are being completed in Torma Bum and Makeni
Rehabilitation of Feeder Roads
• Rehabilitated over 1,000 Km of feeder roads country-wide, but mostly in the South and the East.
WE WILL BRING YOU A FULL LIST OF THE APC ‘S ACHIEVEMENTS IN SUBSEQUENT ISSUES