August 18, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai
Electricity gadgets including string of cables, transformers, among other items belonging to a Tunisian company -STEG International Services have been stolen by unknown robbers.
The gadgets were stolen last Thursday at Adonkia in the Western Area Rural District of Sierra Leone.
It could be recalled that STEG International Services was contracted by the Government of Sierra Leone to undertake the procurement, installation and commissioning of the reinforcement and extension of the medium and low voltage network, the supply of prepaid meters and vending stations in the Western Area.
The project started in October 2015 and would be completed in December 2016.The cost of the project is about eleven million United States Dollars (US$11m) and it is being funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
STEG International Services under the leadership of Alhaji Mohamed Lamin Tarawally, the official representative of West Africa for the Tunisian company, has been making tremendous strides to complete the project before the stipulated time.
Already, the company has been faced with a stiff resistance from a few residents in some of the communities where its workers are installing poles and stringing of cables.
Few months ago, some of the company’s workers were beaten and received stab wounds at Ogoo Farm in the Western Area Rural District, where some residents claimed that the workers installed wooden poles on their land.
According to the Local Unit Commander of the Adonkia Police Division, Supt. Ambrose Sovula, STEG International Services was bringing development to the people of those communities and that they should be protected from harassment and brutalism.
“This is an unfortunate situation. The Police is yet to make any arrest of suspects for the theft of the electricity gadgets. We are still investigating the incidents and the Police are doing everything in their powers to arrest and bring the suspects to book,” he said.
He disclosed that the electricity gadgets were not stolen from the warehouse of STEG International Services, but at one of the company’s site.
Head of STEG International Services in West Africa, Alhaji Mohamed Lamin Tarawally, said his workers have always been faced with resistance from some community residents.
“This is not the first time that our workers have been facing problems with the people. We have a target date to complete this project but I can’t understand why the people are treating us as if they are not the beneficiaries of this project,” he said.
He added that had it not been for the support of the stakeholders in some communities, the Police and the Ministry of Energy, their operations would have been stalled.