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Sierra Leone News: Port Loko in the dark; Bo/Makeni still glow

The solar streetlights are supposed to be a community-owned project, but in Port Loko it seems residents did not appreciate the lights and allowed some ill-motivated and greedy people to steal the lights meant for the community.
According to some of the residents, the thieves were aided by some community people. The thieves carried away almost all the batteries and solar panels. The township has been without light for years and is now plunged back into darkness.
Since the thefts, Council Administration said arrests were made and thieves have been prosecuted.
In Bo and Makeni, the solar streetlights are glowing at night even when the power grid fails.
The maintenance and sustainability of the streetlights in Bo and Makeni is as a result of effective monitoring and community engagement to make residents realize that the lights are community-owned and they have a role to ensure its security.
Susan Boima, of Fenton Road, said, “After long years without streetlights, the solar lights came as a blessing. It is the collective responsibility of local councils and the community to protect them.”
Brima Koroma, in Makeni, said he sees no reason why some people should deprive other community residents from community property, which is the taxpayer’s money. He blamed some politicians who talk as if the government is doing favours for people even though the provision of light is so important.
With the ugly situation, which occurred in Port Loko the police are taking no chances in Bo, Makeni, as they have been ordered by superiors to shoot on sight, anyone caught up the poles, pilfering with the light and accessories.
By Ade Campbell
Wednesday August 02, 2017.

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