Mabaruma’s electricity network is being upgraded but there is no timeframe as yet for the introduction of a 24-hour electricity supply.
This is according to answers given by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds in written responses to questions asked by APNU Members of Parliament (MPs) Annette Ferguson and Jennifer Wade in the National Assembly about the supply of electricity and expenditure to the Mabaruma settlement and Port Kaituma in Region One.
Hinds, who has responsibility for the energy sector, said the government has been pursuing a policy of improving electricity supply in hinterland areas like the Mabaruma settlement in a sustainable manner, including by upgrading the electricity network and by establishing a mini electricity plant in keeping with available resources and what the community was ready to pay.
Ferguson had asked Hinds to explain why electricity was only supplied to Mabaruma and its environs Kumaka, Hosororo and other areas, for a period of six hours per day from 5pm to 11pm. She also asked if government had given any consideration to supplying electricity 24 hours per day, how soon this could be realised and if no, why not.
In a response circulated at last Thursday’s sitting of the National Assembly, Hinds said government has been implementing its plan to augment the electricity supply there in a step by step and sustainable way, in line with its resources, the level of development and other circumstances in the area, including what the community could be expected to and was ready to pay.
“It is in accord with that policy that the electricity supply that was previously for four hours per day was increased to six hours per day,” he said. Also, Hinds said, in keeping with that policy, works are in progress to upgrade and extend the electricity network and to establish a mini electricity utility, although he could not say when a sustainable 24-hours-per-day, seven-days-per-week electricity supply would be available there.
Wade asked when a promised transformer to generate a higher voltage of electricity in the Mabaruma settlement would be delivered. The energy sector had committed to providing the transformer after residents had staged a vigorous protest about this issue in 2012.
In response, the prime minister said the transformer has been procured and arrangements are being made to transport it to Mabaruma. Work has also been done to upgrade and extend the transmission and distribution network, he said. Region One officials and officers from the Hinterland Electrification Unit within the Office of the Prime Minister are collaborating on the project.
Ferguson also asked about the expenditure for electricity supplied to Mabaruma and Port Kaituma. In response, the prime minister provided two detailed charts for the two communities for a specified period: