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MPs Unhappy With Poor Installation of Solar in Pujehun

August 8, 2017 By Jariatu S. Bangura

The solar facility at Futa Pejeh CHC


Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Energy over the weekend expressed dissatisfaction over the poor installation of the rural electrification by the United Nations Office for Project Service (UNOPS) at Futa Pejeh Health Centre, Pujehun district, Southern province.

One of the members of the Committee, Hon. Jusifu B. Mansaray, said there were no drainages around the structure that could protect the facility, noting that the facility would soon collapse, if not properly protected.

“This job is poorly done. Unlike the other centres that we have visited, the roof here leaks badly. We are dissatisfied with this work here,” he said.

Acting Chairman of the Energy Committee, Hon. Kelfala Conteh said the 6 kilo watts (KW) facility was to serve the health centre, while the 10kw project, which work was still in progress, was to serve the surrounding community.

He recalled that the project was launched by president Koroma and that the implementing partner, UNOPS had assured MPs  that all the facilities have been installed, tested and were in good condition, adding  that all they met at the scene were the opposite.

“What we have seen here shows that not all the facilities are in good condition as UNOPS claimed. We have seen that the roof leaks and there is no provision for drainages for the water not to settle around the facility. This work is not satisfactory to us,” he said.

He said the ministry and UNOPS had told them that there was a provision for capacity building for at least 5 people within the community to operate the facility, but noted that such was yet to be done, stating that they will look into it at committee level after the tour.

He however pleaded with the hospital staff to be patient as the contractors would be called upon to face the committee and discuss the issue.

However, Community Health Officer, Mariam B. Swaray, expressed appreciation for the work and noted that they have been using ‘Chinese light’ to do  their work at the health centre, but stated that since the installation of the facility, there have been power supply which only  went off on 27th July to date.

“Since the installation, it has been functional, but on Thursday (27th July) it went off. Since then there has been a power outage at the centre. I called one Williams of UNOPS whose name was in our visitor’s book and he told me to wait as they will inform the team to fix the problem but since then it has been the same,” he said.

She stated that she was the only person mandated to switch the power on and off ‘but on that day; “I was in the kitchen when the power went off without the knowledge of any of us present on that day.

When asked about the safety of the facility, she explained that they do not have security personnel to guard the health center and the facility.

She said they only have volunteer security personnel that come from the chiefdom council without any pay, adding that they have no particular personnel trained to operate the facility.

It could be recalled that in July this year, MPs discussed 34.5 million pound to install the mini grid solar energy in some 59 chiefdom health centers.

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