FREETOWN, 14 January 2011 - UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, visited the Singimi Falls in Palima, in the country’s southern district of Moyamba, on 12 January to inspect the proposed site of a 10MW hydropower dam that will serve locals, the Njala University and private companies.
“The Moyamba hydropower project is among President Koroma’s top three priority projects and part of Sierra Leone’s Agenda for Change, and UNIDO will continue to provide the technical expertise required to assist the Government in implementing the projects,” said Yumkella.
He was accompanied by the Executive Representative for the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), Michael Schulenburg; the Head of the EU Energy Unit, Quentin Peignaux; the Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Ogunlade Davidson; the Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure, Alimamy P. Koroma; and other government officials, as well as private sector representatives.
On 14 January, Director-General Yumkella held a meeting with experts from India, who made a presentation on viable business models for village-based biogasifiers and solar charging stations.
“I am very pleased that the Government of India will partner with UNIDO to demonstrate successful models of green energy systems in rural Sierra Leone,” said Yumkella. “New technology will help generate energy for productive use, and this will especially benefit women.”
D. K. Khare, a Director at the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said it was possible to generate abundant electricity from the solid biomass and rice husk that he and his colleagues have seen in all the rural villages they visited. He estimated that USD 1.5 million will be sufficient investment to generate up to 1MW from India’s biogasification technology.
Other Indian experts included the Director of Decentralized Electricity Solutions at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Akanksha Chaurey, and the Deputy Manager of Ankur Scientific Energy Technologies Ltd, Rajiv Gupta. They visited UNIDO-supported projects in Newton, Binkolo and Kychom to conduct on-the-spot assessments and interact with the local people.
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