By John Baimba (Josemata) Sesay
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as part of its mandate has inaugurated and handed over Four Kilowatts Solar Mini Grid Facility to fifty-two houses in Palima Village, Bagruwa Chiefdom, Moyamba District at a well-attended ceremony in the village, which is three kilometres to the already prepared studied and designed proposed Sigime Hydro Dam. The said facility contains batteries, inverter, panels, and rest and battery rooms, informed building, computers, projectors, charging and other educational facilities.
The Moyamba District Council Chairman, Joseph B. Mbogba, in his welcome address said ‘the much needed ‘GEF-UNIDO Funded Facility including a multipurpose hall will serve as a community centre which will accommodate over four hundred people for public events, thereby providing great opportunities to six surrounding villages in the Bagruwa and Lower Banta Chiefdoms’. He commended UNIDO for entrusting such facility to the people and asked that UNIDO maximise the huge human and material resources in the District so that the district will continue to realize its potentials.
The Paramount Chief for Kaiyamba Chiefdom, PC Foday Momoh Gulama and the Secretary Clerk of the Lower Banta Chiefdom, Samuel J. Pessima, expressed similar gratitude to UNIDO for giving them consideration in the midst of scare resources. They asked the government to ensure the Sigime Hydro Dam is realized so that it will bring benefit to the Moyamba District.
Palima village, housing the Palima Primary School, attracts pupils from the other surrounding villages is twenty three miles from the Moyamba District Headquarter town. Its main economic activity is agriculture and fishing.
UNIDO National Project Coordinator, Professor Engineer Kelleh Gbawuru Mansaray, disclosed that the decision for the Facility to be housed at Palima Village was reached by the heads of the six surrounding villages and that Palima, which is at the centre of the other villages, is the only Village with a school facility. He said the Mini Grid Facility will be providing electricity to the school. ‘In Sigime, UNIDO has provided solar street lights and solar charging centres for the community’ the Project coordinator said, adding that the four kilowatt mini grid Facility in Palima Village will electrify fifty-two houses and more.
The Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr. Eldred Taylor, praised UNIDO for ‘rendering unwavering technical assistance to government’ and the already prepared studied and designed proposed Sigime Hydro Dam. He said the dam is one of such assistance. He promised government’s commitment to the Sigime Hydro Project, mentioning that it is one of the twelve energy interventions of government to boost national development, which interest groups are already available to boost. He congratulated UNIDO for the expert work done on the facility, promising that more technical support will be given from the government to the Mini Grid Facility Technicians in Sigime and Palima for quality work to be done in the discharge of their duties.
The community people appreciated UNIDO’s effort as part of its priority to boost the Sigime Hydro Dam plan and creating unique livelihood opportunities for them. They pledge their support and that they will take care of the facilities as a form of gratitude to what UNIDO has done for them. ‘The main roads and houses in the Palima Village have been positioned with poles and essential facilities and at night Palima Village is an epitome of success and beauty’ said Joseph, a teacher at Palima Primary School. He ended by saying that what UNIDO has done for them is what they ‘call development’.