In West Africa, state utility Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) is set to begin the process of compensating local residents on the transmission line project that runs between the Mount Coffee hydropower project in Harrisburg, Montserrado County, and LEC’s substations in Bushrod Island and Paynesville.
The national electricity provider has set up a dedicated Project Implementation Unit to manage the rehabilitation project, LEC said in a statement.
It said: “The social safeguard responsibilities include compensating all persons who will be affected by the project through loss of land or assets (structures or trees/crops), provided they were recorded before the compensation cut-off date.”
“The compensation and the affected populations are defined in the project’s Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs). The compensation process has already begun in the main project area for the people affected by the future reservoir.”
The LEC said that all assets in the way of the two transmission lines, which run across the Harrisburg Pipe Line, White Planes, and Caldwell Roads, were being recorded by the LEC.
Resident assets survey
The announcement reverses an earlier decision following the February 2014 survey, where it was stated that any asset which was an obstacle for the project would not be considered for compensation.
LEC said the project was now following World Bank policy on involuntary resettlement, “meaning that no person affected by the project, regardless of their status, will be left worse off or impoverished by the project. Therefore, all persons whose livelihood or assets will be affected and which were recorded during the February 2014 survey will be compensated for those assets.”
LEC will pay compensation to anyone whose legal ownership of the land can be verified by the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (MLME) by way of a legitimate deed.
2014 Ebola outbreak
The refurbishment project, which was initiated in May 2012, was running on schedule until the August 2014 Ebola outbreak which left many West African businesses and projects dormant. However, despite construction being put on hold, the project procurement and manufacturing continued on schedule, and the project management team remobilized in late February 2015.
Construction works are expected to restart and the project environmental and social safeguard activities have already resumed.
(Homepage pic credit: Front page Africa online)