The Rivercess County Service Center has received a major boost to its power generating capacity, as UNDP Liberia Solar for Health Project installs solar renewable energy at the facility, a UNDP press release said on Monday.
The solar system with a capacity of 12 kilowatts, consists of 74 pieces of solar panels mounted on the rooftop of the CSC building, with a storage cabinet that contains 24 Lithium batteries.
It is valued at over US $82,000 and will be used for the smooth running of the Center.
The Deputy Internal Affairs Minister for Research and Planning lauded UNDP for the partnership and the much-needed initiative.
Olayee Collins has conveyed Minister Varney Sirleaf’s excitement for such an intervention, which helps alleviate the administrative burden incurred by the government.
Collins reminded the local leadership of its responsibility of ensuring the protection of the system.
“Rivercess, which is the first beneficiary under the project, is now under obligation to prove whether partners should continue the project in other counties by taking care of the solar panels for a longer life span,” said Collins.
UNDP Team Lead for its Governance Portfolio James Monibah says although its solar for health project is focused on providing electricity to health facilities, it has realized that County Service Centers were heavily challenged with the lack of regular electricity.
County Service Centers established across the 15 counties of Liberia under the Liberia Decentralization Support Program (LDSP) continue to be heavily challenged especially with the lack of regular electricity.
The installation of the solar system at the Rivercess County Service Center means that an uninterrupted electricity supply will now help to improve access to services, increase service users, & reduce operational costs.
Rivercess County Inspector and Acting Superintendent Daniel Tokoe Doe described the project as huge and timely.
Doe recognizes the efforts of the Government of Liberia and its partners through the Ministry of Internal Affairs for selecting Rivercess as the first to benefit under the solar project.
He believes this intervention will allow the government to save some money on fuel and repair costs for generators.
The Coordinator at the Rivercess County Service Center believes that the installation of the solar energy will also facilitate timely reporting.
Eric Peterson noted that although the government has been making some budgetary allotments for maintenance and operational costs; such allocations are limited.
“The constraints faced by Ministries, Agencies and Commissions (MACs) in compiling reports will now be a thing of the past, with the delay mainly attributed to the lack of electricity,” stressed Peterson.
Since the opening of the Center in 2017, operations at full capacity have been limited, due to inadequate financial resources.
Over the years 2015-2017, UNDP Liberia, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs, has managed the LDSP Programme with funding from donors like the European Union, Sweden, USAID, and the former UNMIL, among others.