A World Bank Safeguard Mission will be visiting Sierra Leone from 7-15 December to review progress with the Bumbuna Hydropower Project environmental and social aspects.
While in the country the mission will follow-up on the progress of the agreed pre-impoundment measures with special focus on the proposed Bumbuna Wildlife Conservation Area an associated conservation measures, and the proposed Bumbuna Watershed Management Authority and the Bumbuna Trust Company.
The mission will also finalise the agreed resettlement and compensation actions that also need to be completed to precede impoundment. It plans to do a site visit in Bumbuna to access progress in the construction of the environmental by-pass, de-stratification equipment and biomass clearing in the drawdown zone.
It is agree on the terms of reference and timetable for environmental studies in the wider Bumbuna conservation area and Loma Mountain offset site.
The mission led by two senior environmental and social specialists, Dr Maria J. Cruz and Mr Robert Robbelus, plans to do a site visit and assess progress in construction of resettlement housing and arrangements for compensation of project affected populations. It will also participate in the emergency food and livelihood support program in at least one food distribution centre.
A draft Aide Memorie including a follow-up action will be discussed between the mission and government.
It is expected that the minister of energy and power will lead a government delegation to participate in the official launch of the food aid programme for the project affected people at Bumbuna
Meanwhile, the Project Implementation Unit of the Bumbuna Hydroelectric Project is making all the necessary preparations to receive the World Bank team and to ensure the success of the visit which is considered critical to the completion for the Bumbuna project.
In a similar development, the task manager of the African Development Bank Group, Hemchand Rai Heeroo, is in the country to visit the Bumbuna Falls Hydroelectric Project.
Mr Heeroo is to have meeting with senior officials of the ministry of energy and power in order to discuss among other things the power situation in the country and complementary projects to distribute power from Bumbuna to customers.
He will also be discussing the institutional set-up to manage Bumbuna after completion.