(Ecofin Agency) - The World Bank announced it has approved the disbursement of $50 million to support the electricity sector in Sierra Leone. The money will be provided by the International Development Association (IDA) in partnership with the Japan Policy and Human Resources Development Fund, which is granting $2.7 million of the amount. It will bring clean energy to 276,000 Sierra Leoneans and 700 schools and health centers.
The project will help prevent the emission of 15,135 tons of greenhouse gases per year, the institution said. Sierra Leone has an electrification rate of 23%, well below the average 30% in the subregion. However, the government is striving to reach this regional threshold by 2030.
To achieve the goal, the government bets on the extension of the Bumbuna II dam, which will provide an additional 80 MW. Rehabilitation and extension work on the Bo-Kenema grid will connect 500,000 people, while solar solutions provider Easy Solar has announced that it will serve 300,000 people in 2019.
In addition to improving living conditions, access to cleaner and sustainable energy, the project will enable the country to save on the funds spent on diesel to operate generators.
“Improving access to electricity in Sierra Leone is a critical development accelerator. This project will help address the country’s key infrastructure deficits, which is one of the most fundamental elements for promoting sustainable growth and job creation in the COVID-19 recovery,” said Gayle Martin, World Bank country manager for Sierra Leone.
Gwladys Johnson Akinocho