On Wednesday November 9, the management of the Liberia Electricity Corporation, along with officials of Government, donor partners, community leaders and students, officially launched its “Anti Power Theft Campaign” held on the grounds of the Paynesville City Town hall.
Currently, power theft is a major driver of commercial loses at the LEC. This alarming loss amounts to 46 million US dollars monthly and poses a serious problem in having the entity provide adequate services to its numerous customers. Theft of power within communities is also seriously hampering the sustainability of the corporation and its ability to expand current grid networks across the country.
“I encourage community leaders to work along with our power theft and community engagement teams who will be visiting your communities,” said Mr. Monie Captan, Acting CEO of LEC. “Without community engagement, we are definitely out for failure. When you go to a town, the first person you should ask for is the town chief. Our goal is to work with communities and to be successful. So we need your help. Criticism will not carry us anywhere,” he said.
Joining the LEC for this important Anti-Theft launch was: Honorable Saa Joseph, Senator of Montserrado, Madam Mary Broh, Co-Chair of the Anti-Theft Campaign, The European Union, World Bank, LERC, LNBA, Ministry of Defense, LNP and over 75 community leaders from across Monrovia.
“This is a new day. Power is expensive it’s not free. I want to thank the president George Manneh Weah and the Acting CEO, for allowing me to work with LEC on this Anti-theft campaign,” Said Madam Mary Broh, Director General of the General Service Agency. “We will find communities engaged in theft. We will do engagements with our communities; but the moment you start to shift, we will shift with you.”
Liberia recently signed a power purchase agreement for 27 additional megawatts with CI Energies of La Cote d’Ivoire which according to the LEC management, will go a long way in meeting our dry season needs. The management is however encouraging communities to pay for this this power in order to have this arrangement remain sustainable.
“The Board of Commissioners at LERC welcomes the Power Purchase Agreement signed by the LEC and TRANSCO, for the supply of additional 27 megawatts to Liberia,” Said Mr. Lawrence Sekajipo, Chairman, Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC). “We strongly urge the LEC to put into place, stringent measures to stop power theft. It is unfair where one group steals power, while the other pays.”
The management of LEC informed customers and community leaders during the program that December 1, 2022, is a very important day. “It is when the light from the Ivory Coast will come to Liberia. When we get the current, we should pay. It’s not free,” According to the Acting CEO of LEC.
"LEC has progressed over the past few months very much,” said Ambassador Laurent Delahousse, Head of the European Union Delegation in Liberia. “With the Government and development partners working together, strengthening the power will certainly be ensured. Working with the LEC, we are hoping to have an additional 41,000 customers benefitting from adequate power soon.”
Launching the campaign, Mr. Dennis Cooper from the “Cooper farm Community” in Rehab said, “We want to use this occasion to encourage LEC to come into our Cooper Farm community and the rest of the fifty five other communities, in working together to making proper and a coordinated community engagement, work.”