‘Going Beyond the Grid’

first_imgAs Liberians await the first 22-megawatts turbine at the Mt. Coffee Hydro Power Plant to go online on December 15, the ‘Liberia Energy Access Practitioner’ (LEAP) group has been launched to help government decentralize energy to rural areas in the country.The program was organized by Mercy Corps, an international non-governmental organization, through its ‘Light Up Liberia’ project with funding from the European Union.The launch, which was held over the weekend, brought together representatives from Total Liberia, Plan Liberia, Alternative Energy, We4Self, GIZ-Endev, among others.The network is particularly intended to bring together diverse energy service providers and stakeholders to support the delivery of clean, reliable, and affordable decentralized energy as a way of contributing to Liberia’s electrification projects.LEAP will also concentrate on the promotion of solar technology and clean cooking stoves, with its members’ operations (mostly small and medium enterprises) expected to range from Pico solution to larger, decentralized solar systems.“We recognize that off-grid energy solutions move beyond bridging the energy gap by addressing lighting, cooking, pumping needs to positively affect outcomes in education, health and agriculture and enhance livelihood opportunities,” a representative of Mercy Corps said.According to him, there is currently no formal network or trade association for retailers as well as distributors of off-grid renewable energy products in Liberia. As a result, there is little to no collaboration between players in the rural energy market. In her keynote address on behalf of the management of the Rural Renewable Energy Agency (RREA), Mrs. Mardia Potter Warner said the government of Liberia through RREA will continue to support and promote the platform for the growth of the sector.“We fully endorse the outcome of the LEAP Network, considering it a good basis for furthering our cooperation and intend to go beyond the agreement reached in the area of renewable energy,” she said.“We commit ourselves to working with others to achieve the goals of the LEAP network especially through the partnership initiatives that could contribute to expanding the use of renewable energy,” she added.In remarks, Mercy Corps Deputy Country Director Douglas Cooper lauded the government through the RREA and other partners for the progress made in Liberia. “Mercy Corps has been in operation in Liberia since 2002 implementing programs in food security, peace-building and youth empowerment.” Over the last year, he said, Mercy Corps has also been engaging in social mobilization and economic development in response to the impacts of the Ebola outbreak.Mercy Corp Liberia currently has funding from the European Commission (EC) through a 36-month program entitled “Light Up Liberia” in Bong, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Lofa, Gbarpolu, Nimba and rural Montserrado counties.According to Cooper, with support from the EC, Mercy Corps Liberia will improve access to affordable and sustainable energy for rural families.The Liberia Energy Access Practitioner group will operate from 2016-19. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Fire guts vendors arcade in Bartica

first_imgA fire of unknown origin completely destroyed three stalls in an unregulated vendors arcade next to Cool Breeze mall in Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).The fire as it raged through the stallsThe incident occurred on Saturday at about 09:00h.Bartica’s Deputy Mayor, Kamal Persaud, told Guyana Times that despite the shortage of water and strong winds, fire fighters managed to control the fire from destroying surrounding structures, including the KW Shopping Mall.However, the fire destroyed three water tanks and the drainage pipes of the shopping centre. Some windows were also shattered as a result of the heat.No one was injured in the ordeal.Ironically, the fire did not originate from the cook-shop, but rather from one of the clothing stores.Persaud explained that when the owner of the cook-shop realised that there was a fire, she immediately moved her gas bottles so as to avoid major explosions.On the bright side, the Deputy Mayor noted that this disaster could serve as an impetus for the Bartica Town Council to bring some order to the area which is currently in a deplorable state and is a haven for criminal activities, including use of narcotics.She noted too that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had visited the arcade and expressed grave concerns about the impractical solid waste management practices there.In fact, she observed that the vendors are engaged in unethical practices within that commercial district, including sleeping in the stalls.“Sometimes when you walk pass there you can see people brushing their teeth. Some people sleep in the stalls, they live there,” she reported.Additionally, she noted that the land on which the vending takes place is a private-owned property currently involved in a court dispute.The Deputy Mayor is hoping that some action can be taken to regularise vending in that location.last_img read more

Harambee Stars promised Sh50mn for AFCON qualification

first_img0Shares0000Harambee Stars head coach Paul Put presents a signed jersey to Deputy President William Ruto during a breakfast meeting at the DP’s Karen Residence on December 19, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19- Deputy President William Ruto has promised that the government will reward the national football team Harambee Stars with Sh50mn if they qualify for the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.Ruto made this promise on Tuesday morning as he hosted the team for breakfast at his Karen residence following their CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup triumph. “The more difficult part is ahead of us. The AFCON is a year and abit ahead of us. We must qualify and we must win. We must make history and I am confident this is the team to make history. Let me commit, if you qualify as a team the government of Kenya will give the team Sh50mn to share. Sasa mtajipanga kutoka hapo. The ball is in your court. Ama namna gani?” The Deputy President posed.Deputy President William Ruto poses for a photo with Harambee Stars players during a breakfast meeting at the DP’s Karen Residence on December 19, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluKenya started off their campaign on a poor footing losing to Sierra Leone in June but will have a chance to redeem themselves in the second round of group matches in September next year against Ghana.Head coach Paul Put who was hired primarily to help the team qualify for the Cup of Nations says he is confident they will achieve the target.“It is possible. Nothing cannot be achieved. We have started well and now we have the support that we need. The door is open that we can bring our plans. I now hope that we can do the job and make Kenyans happy,” Put told Capital Sport.Meanwhile, the team continued to receive windfalls from their CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup triumph and each member of the technical bench might now walk home with Sh700,000 after the President directed a further Sh10mn to be awarded to the team from the Sports Ministry.Deputy President William Ruto fist-bumps Harambee Stars captain Musa Mohammed during a breakfast meeting at the DP’s Karen Residence on December 19, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluThe team is also scheduled to have a bus after skipper Musa Mohammed made the request in his short speech at the breakfast.“Hiyo mambo Captain umeongea nimeskia (I have heard the words the captain has said). In the next two weeks you should have a new bus for movement and everything,” the Deputy president said.Ruto congratulated the team for their performance and added that it helped unite the nation.Meanwhile, Ruto has promised that the Government will fast track the completion of eight new stadia by April next year. The county stadia which will be complete by then will be in Kamarin, Makueni, Marsabit, Meru, Chuka, Nyeri, Eldoret and the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.It will remain to be seen whether this promise will be fulfilled especially with Kenyan football fans still reeling from the stripping of hosting rights for next year’s African Nations Championship.Deputy President William Ruto signs a ceremonial ball during a breakfast meeting with Harambee Stars at his Karen residence. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“We made a commitment that we are going to add stadia to find it easier for more of our players to practice and improve on their prowess and to have facilities they can use to promote their sporting talents,” Ruto said.He added; “Although it took time because of issues to do with agreements with county governments, by April next year, eight new stadia will be ready.”He has also hinted that the government will work with the federation to see that more sponsors come on board to aid in achieving the dream to play in the 2019 AFCON as well as the 2022 World Cup.Also top on the agenda is the establishment of youth centers and talent tapping hubs to nurture the talent.“We have an elaborate plan to promote football from grassroots, we want our young ones to have an opportunity to develop talent at an early age to enable us qualify for the World Cup in future,” Ruto added.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more