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Liberia: Transco Trains EPA, FDA LEC Staff On Health, Environmental Protocols Amid Rapid Expansion of Transmission Lines

TRANSCO CLSG has embarked on a weeklong training for staff of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) for the promotion of best environmental practices and safety measures amid the construction of substations and transmission lines from Nimba to Grand Bassa Counties.

TRANSCO CLSG or Transmission Company Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinée is an ECOWAS regional supranational company with the objective of financing, constructing, owning, operating, maintaining, and developing the Interconnection power line for the region.

As part of the project, a high voltage power line is being built to connect the four countries and increase the efficiency of power supply for economic growth in the region.

In Liberia, the line, when completed will stretch from Yekepa, Nimba County to Buchanan in Grand Bassa, covering 230 kilometers with 569 towers. The other, covering 300 kilometers with 573 towers, will run from Buchanan through Margibi County to Mount Coffee and then to Bo Waterside, into Sierra Leone.

Currently the Yekepa station has been completed, while the Buchana station is nearing completion.

To ensure best environmental practices and safety measures are observed TRANSCO CLSG has hired the services of two top Liberian environmentalists and disaster management experts to trained staffers of the EPA, FDA and the LEC.

Addressing reporters in the middle of the training on Wednesday in Monrovia, the chief facilitator, Dr. Morris T. Koffa said the training is geared towards highlighting the roles and responsibilities of these institutions in ensuring the project’s goal of providing affordable electricity is achieved in line with best environmental practices.

“We are conducting a training on inspection of transmission lines, monitoring, environmental health, hygiene and safety protocols for the EPA, FDA and the LEC,” Dr. Koffa said.

“Our role is to train these institutions as to how to inspect transmission lines, with specific regard to environmental compliance as it is spelled out by the Government of Liberia through the EPA and other lead Agencies.”

Dr. Koffa said, the FDA, among other things, focuses on mitigating the impact of biodiversity loss during the construction of substations and transmission lines, while the EPA will take into consideration the impact on the environment, regarding proper disposal of the debris from the construction and control of air pollution, among others.

Speaking further, he said while it is true that the LEC is responsible for the maintenance and management of the power line, there are internal protocols that must be observed to be in compliance with all of the EPA regulations.

Currently, Liberia’s largest source of power- the Mount Coffee Hydro, with its total power output of 88 megawatts, is providing power to few households in Monrovia and its environs. However, with the TRANSCO CLSG project, Dr. Koffa said that Liberia’s current nightmare will be solved.

He called on every Liberian to take ownership of the project owing to its social and equitable development the country stands to benefit.

He said: “We have had challenges in the past where electricity has been a very critical undertaking in Liberia. But with TRANSCO coming in with these huge machineries to provide electricity, I think it is quite awesome. And it helps to build our economy, because when there is light, then you find light throughout the tunnel that leads to national development.”

Also speaking, the co-facilitator of the training, Mohammed F. Konneh called for the observation of the health and safety measures to ensure a vibrant working environment and proper maintenance of the infrastructure.

He said despite the challenges faced by these entities in instituting standard health and safety measures, they should strive to ensure they are put in place for the safety of workers and residents of affected communities.

As part of the training, he disclosed that participants will be taken on a guided tour at the TRANSCO CLSG substation in Buchanan.

Meanwhile, the training is expected to end on Friday, October 8 following the field trip.

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