Conakry, Guinea — 08 March 2012 – A major project is underway in Guinea to address the acute problems involving supply of electricity and water to its citizens, which is slowing down the country’s economic development.
Reporting this from here, allAfrica.com, citing news agency Inter Press Service, says some Guineans are skeptical of the promises that have been made.
Guinea enjoys more rainfall than any other country in West Africa; the country is known as the water tower of the sub-region, with the headwaters of the Niger, Senegal and Gambia rivers all found within its borders. The country’s many rivers and tributaries should be valuable assets for the provision of fresh water, extensive irrigation agriculture, and large-scale hydroelectric power generation.
Yet despite enjoying more rainfall than any other country in West Africa, Guinea’s 10.6 million people face problems regarding the provision of adequate electricity and access to clean water for its development. Now, with support from international lenders, the government is working to improve and extend the electricity network and water system in the capital.
A current report from the Energy Ministry shows that Guinea’s electricity supply is still characterised by decrepit equipment, high production costs, a high level of debt, and a lack of managerial capacity.
The 2010 United Nations Development Programme report says Guinea’s new government, elected in a close contest at the end of 2010, is making fresh efforts to provide the country with better facilities to put an end to both frequent power cuts and long-standing water shortages.
In the energy sector, work on rehabilitating and extending the electricity network in Conakry is in progress, co-financed by the Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank at a cost of around US$265 million dollars. New thermal power plants for the capital will also be built.
“We have also drawn up and initiated Guinea’s fourth water project," said energy minister Papa Koly Kourouma. “The project will cover all 33 urban centres in the country by 2015, increasing the supply of clean water in Conakry from 40 to 63 litres per person per day, and to 55 litres per person in other urban areas,” he added.
“It will cost US$15.7 million and is being funded by the Islamic Development Bank.Considering all the efforts being made here, there is good reason to be hopeful,” the minister told journalists.
Source: all.Africa.com. For full item, click here.