Dr. Yumkella embarks on a fact-finding mission at Bumbuna Hydro Dam Bumbuna Town, Dansogoia Chiefdom, Tonkolili District, Saturday 11th May 2024

Chairman of the Presidential Initiative on Climate Change, Renewable Energy and Food Security, Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, has visited the Bumbuna Hydro Dam to get a first hand information about the current situation of the dam.

According to him, his visit was in response to the current energy crisis and how efforts would be pulled together to bring a lasting solution to the crisis.

“President Bio is determined to provide reliable, sustainable and affordable energy to the people of Sierra Leone. That is why we are currently developing an energy transition plan which will look at the energy we want beyond 10 years,” he said.

He said President Bio’s government has come to realize that there is an energy crisis after every 10 years, noting that such situation is not good for sustainable development.

“There was energy crisis during former President Momoh’s reign, during the NPRC reign, during President Kabbah’s reign and during President Koroma’s reign. In fact, it was during President Koroma’s reign that they brought in the Karpower ship as an emergency solution to the acute shortage of power,” he disclosed.

He noted that President Bio’s government was working on an energy transition plan that looks at the immediate, medium and long term solution to the energy crisis in Sierra Leone.

“From what I have seen at the Bumbuna Hydro Dam, we have 161 transmission lines. Plans are underway to invest in a 225 transmission lines which would eventually take more power to the people. I have also be informed that the dam has a generation capacity of 50 megawatts during the rainy season because it has two turbines,” he stated.

He added that there were provisions for the construction of additional two turbines which would eventually double the current generation capacity of energy.

“I have also been informed that some mining companies within Sierra Leone have requested for electricity supply from Bumbuna Hydro Dam. By so doing, EDSA will generate revenue and subsequently invest in improving its energy infrastructure,” he said.

He warned citizens to desist from putting fire on electricity transformers and other gadgets, saying that such ugly act will derail government’s efforts to solving the energy crisis within the country.

Dr. Edmond Dankona Wuseni, Resident Consultant for the Bumbuna Project, said the dam was designed for an installed capacity of 50 megawatts, adding that there was a reserve for the construction and installation of two more turbines which would automatically increase the uptake to 100 megawatts.

He confirmed that the mining company at Ferengbaia has requested for 88 megawatts electricity supply, the one at Tongo Fields has requested for 2 megawatts, another at Marampa Mines has requested for 18 megawatts, among others, noting that the mining companies would always pay high tariff for energy and on time.

He disclosed that the Bumbuna Hydro Dam currently has a staff strength of 95, seven of which are Ethiopians and one Italian.

Engineer Ansu Jah, who has worked at the Bumbuna Hydro Dam for 17 years, said they would be shutting down the dam for routine maintenance for a period of 10 days, noting that the routine maintenance used to be 14 days but the current energy crisis has made them to take a decision to do it for 10 days.

“During this period, Freetown will get energy supply from CLSG and the Karpower ship. We have communicated this information to the citizens of this country and they are aware of this annual routine maintenance. So, there is no need to panic because it is not a crisis,” he stated.

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