Liberia Electricity Corporation Embarks on Distributing Transformers in Monrovia, Environs
MONROVIA – Amid a wave of protests by residents of Monrovia and its environs in demand of electricity in their communities, the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) has embarked on the installation of 96 transformers across several communities.
Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh 00231880881540 / 00231777769531 [email protected]
According to LEC, some of the communities to benefit include Police Academy, PHP, Lover Street, Edwin Snowe Community in Paynesville, 14th and 20th Streets in Sinkor, Wroto Town and Lower New Georgia.
At separate town hall meetings with residents of New Georgia Estate and Wroto Town, respectively, a joint management team comprising of officials from LEC and ESBI Engineering and Facility management limited, a private firm that has assumed full responsibility of managing the LEC, assured the residents that management is aware of the numerous difficulties faced by customers in accessing current and is now putting in place measures to improve service delivery.
The Network Supervisor of ESBI, Brenda O’Connor told residents that 96 transformers are ready to be installed to replace the ones that got damaged due to power overload owing to illegal connections by unscrupulous individuals including some LEC staff.
The LEC and its implementing partner, ESBI in a bid to combat the menace of power theft, have embarked on a citizen engagement campaign in several communities in Monrovia and its surroundings.
Mr. O’Conner told the residents that LEC is polluted with rogue figures who are in the community carrying out illegal connections that are destroying the transformers because of power overload.
Because of power theft, he said the management and the government are losing up to 60 percent of the entity’s income and called on the residents to help LEC in reporting those who are involved in the unlawful act.
In response, the residents blamed the LEC management for being responsible for the power theft saga on grounds that management does not seek the welfare of its customers.
They complained that it takes a considerable length of time for management to serve them with meters whenever they applied at their offices.
Because of the delay in supplying them with meters, the costumers noted that they willingly purchase meters from LEC field agent in order to get current in their homes and offices.
They urged the management to be effective and responsive to costumers in order to stop the illegal connections that is robbing the LEC a considerable amount of its income crippling the electricity system in the country.
“we cannot sit idle while we continue to be in darkness. Whenever we are approached by the LEC field agent, we willingly give them money to connect us. Light is life. Let LEC improve customer service and be responsive to us,” an anonymous customer told FrontPage Africa.
Meanwhile, LEC has announced that it has put in place series of measures aimed at curbing power theft.
Management called on costumers with damaged meters to visit the Waterside Office to their get their meters replaced and to desist from handling money to field agents; noting that all transactions should be done at LEC offices only.
The Communication Director, Mambu James Kpargoi said hotline number 4500 is now dedicated to customer related issues such as cases of damaged transformers and meters; while 4600 can be used to report LEC workers or non-employees that are engaged in any forms of malpractices in the field.
In addition, he mentioned that special reflector jackets with special code have been designed for all LEC field agents; while the vehicles used by its field staff are now marked with special numbers.
In the absence of these features, the management urged customers not to transact with anyone claiming to be a staff of LEC.