05 March 2014, Monrovia – Despite the Government of Liberia’s consistent promise of increasing access to the Liberia Electricity Corporation’s powerhouse for many poor communities in Monrovia and its environs, the city continues to be in darkness.
Throughout the weekend the city was dark and its only led drivers to brighten their headlights which many times lead to trouble for the other drivers on the opposite lane.
Last Thursday, the Minister of Lands Mines and Energy told journalists that the LEC is faced with a menace that it is trying to control but adds that it remains the major problem for a government’s electrification drive.
“One of the key challenges we face in trying to connect people is that of all the power that the LEC generates, not less than 20% is lost due to theft, that’s like about 20,000 connections that we cannot make because the power is being stolen,” said Minister Sendolo.
“It is robbing everybody not of connections, but also affects the cost of electricity because that power is going for free; that power LEC will not get money from and therefore you will not see the reduction in your tariffs that we are all trying to achieve.”
LEC itself recently issued an appeal to Liberians to help the entity in the fight against power theft. The entity said despite repeated pleas to residents of Monrovia and its environs for them to report power theft or not to engage in the act, some unscrupulous individuals in the society have ignored the calls and are still stealing electricity by bypassing the meters or climbing the poles.
“This has contributed to the damages to its transformers and other facilities as well as the number of power outages being experienced mainly in Monrovia and its environs,” stated the LEC in a press statement.
In January, a man believed to be in his 20’s was electrocuted on an LEC pole in New Kru Town after he attempted to steal power in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The LEC, said that the incident took place barely 24 hours after the company’s power theft crew had removed 42 meters from New Kru Town, which had been tampered with by the power criminals. The company also noted that power theft accounts for 27 percent of revenue losses the company incurs monthly.