The Deputy Secretary General of the Mano River Union Simeon Moriba disclosed at a panel debate between some Western Journalists and authorities of different River Basins in West Africa that the African Development Bank (ADB) will be providing funds for a study to be undertaken on the hydro potential of the Mano River. The Mano River starts from the Guinean Island and it flows through the Atlantic Ocean to separate Sierra Leone and Liberia. Initially Sierra Leone and Liberia saw the need to form a Union of the Mano River between the two countries in 1973 and that led to the establishment of the Mano River Union with its Secretariat in Freetown. Guinea was encouraged to join in 1980 and Ivory Coast in 2008 making it a four member Union.
Simeon Moriba who represented the Mano River Basin at a meeting of River Basin authorities organized by the Global Water Partnership West Africa under the Integrated Water Resources Management intimated Journalists that experts will be conducting a study that will last for two years on not only the hydro potential of the river but also to see whether it could serve as source for irrigation that will lead to agricultural productivity and other potential uses for the economic good of member states.
He said a study on the river’s hydro potential has been conducted before but it was not operationalized because of the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, he added.
The MRU Deputy Secretary further stated that after the study is completed the Secretariat in collaboration with the different member states will start searching for funds to start the project.
Speaking to Awoko during his visit to Akosombo Dam in Ghana which is one of the biggest hydro power electricity infrastructures in West Africa Mr. Moriba said a case study will be drawn from Akosombo Dam which is an example of a highly successful hydro project.
When asked how realistic the establishment of a Mano River hydro project will be and how soon it will be realized. Mr. Moriba said: ‘It is a dream that can be realized but cannot be given a definite timeline considering the necessary requirements and negotiation involved.” By William Freeman in Ghana