By Goth Mohamed Goth
Hargeisa-Ministry of Energy and Minerals of the Republic of Somaliland organized a one day public consultation meeting on the Environmental and Community Risk Assessment of the Somaliland Electricity Sector Recovery Project was held in Hargeisa.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Minerals and Energy, the Director-Generals of the Ministries of Social Affairs, Justice and Environment and Rural Development, the Chairman of the National Electricity Commission, members of the Association of Electricity Companies of the Republic of Somaliland, heads of departments of the Ministry of Minerals and Energy, and other dignitaries from the Somaliland community.
The meeting aim was to consult with the various stakeholders on how to increase access to electricity services and to re-establish the electricity supply industry in the Project Areas.
Mr. Liban Haji Mohamoud, the Director of the Energy Department of the Ministry of Minerals and Energy, briefed the participants, by explaining the importance of the meeting at the launch of the Somaliland Electricity Sector Recovery Project. The main objective of the Power Master Plan for the GoSL was to produce a roadmap to guide the introduction and establishment of affordable, safe, reliable and environmentally friendly electricity supply systems of the country.
He added that during the implementation of the project we need to avoid anything that could harm our environment.”
Hon Jama Mohamoud Egal, the Minister of Energy and Minerals speaking during the meeting highlighted the benefits of the project, noting that the key is to have a sustainable electricity service which have a key role in enablement of community co-benefits, and socio-economic life.
He said that the investment of this program will focus on companies that provide utility services and a help to expand the distribution of electricity services for improved public services delivery (Health, Education and Water Supply Institutions). This component will support activities to provide electricity to existing public facilities in rural and peri-urban areas, underpinned by the nation-wide geospatial plan.
The Minister thanked the World Bank for funding the project and urged the participants to actively participate in the discussions on the utilization of the project and the reduction of power risks.
Mr. Ahmed Farah Adare, chairman of the National Energy Commission, welcomed the project and said it would be of great benefit to the community.
The Chairman promised that the national energy commission will be fully contributing towards the project.
The Director-General in the Ministry of Environment said that the project will help reduce the environmental problems caused by the equipment used by the power companies.
“Like the rest of the world, our electricity was founded by private companies. Our electricity is generated by oil, and that emits a lot of pollutants. The ESPs to be able to offer sustainable and affordable energy so as to enhance the economy and increase production by exploiting natural resources for the benefit of our people.
Director General of Labor and Social Affairs, Mr. Abdirashid Abdirahman Sh. Ibrahim, highlighted the need to harness the country’s renewable energy. One of the major challenges facing our business is electricity, so this project is one of the major projects in our country that needs to be completed.”
Director General of the Ministry of Justice Abdirahman Sh. Hassan Ismail, for his part, exemplified the importance of providing low-cost and safe electricity service to the poor. This project will benefit low-income communities.”
Mr. Mohamed Abdurrahman Farah, the Secretary General of the Somaliland Electricity Companies Association speaking during the occasion highlighted the role that electricity service providers can play in the implementation of this project. He noted that they shall strive to provide the public with cheap and safe electricity.
“Last time companies invested in Solar power but Solar can’t meet all of our needs. We really need this project to help us,” he said.
During the meeting the participants discussed the benefits of the project, how the existing challenges can be overcome.