To increase the supply of electricity in Freetown, ambassador Cheng Wenju, Haja Afsatu Kabba, the minister of Energy and Power over the weekend visited the mini hydro thermal Guma dam at Mile 13.
Briefing the ambassador about the dam, Haja Afsatu Kabba said the mini hydro thermal Guma dam had over the years supplied Freetown with two megawatts of electricity.
She added that the dam was built in the 1960s by the British but closed down in 1984 when Guma Valley was experiencing problems with water and when the population of Freetown increased.
Haja Kabba also asked if there were possibilities of rivers to be diverted to the dam so that the water level would increase.
The minister recalled that when she was deputy minister of that ministry in 1996, she visited the thermal plant at that time and found it useful.
Haja Afsatu Kabba pleaded with the Chinese ambassador that if there was a possibility to raise the dam any further, an additional two megawatts would serve as compliment to the 15 megawatts at Kingtom and 10 megawatts at Black Hall Road.
She requested the Chinese ambassador that the expert team undertook some assessment as the additional two megawatts would serve the peninsular areas.
In his contribution Darrel Thompson, the general manger of Guma Valley Water Company (GVWC) said the diversion of the rivers would take up to one year or 18 months.
Dr Zubairu Kaloko, the general manager of the National Power Authority (NPA), said there was no sufficient water to power the generator.
Ambassador Cheng Wenju said he was impressed with the basic infrastructures showed, adding that in the past the generator had contributed to the development of electricity in that area of Sierra Leone.
He requested the minister to provide basic information in order for the technical team to do their work effectively, adding that the team would come to make survey of the equipment for rehabilitation.
Ambassador Wenju maintained that, “the problem of energy is a huge one”.
Joseph Koroma, the UNIDO representative for Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea said it was rather unfortunate the generators were here and “we are crying for electricity”. He added that there were 33 potential sites for small hydro or mini hydro in Sierra Leone.
Mr Koroma described the two Mega Watts generator as a emergency project that would benefit residents in the peninsular.