It’s a Director has been appointed and personnel are in the process of being recruited.
Cameroon is committed to increasing its electricity coverage. Some 166 localities in the 10 regions of the country with off grid are beneficiaries of the FCFA 53 billion project that is expected to take off by the end of this month if all go as planned. The latest of the project update was the appointment by the Prime Minister, Philemon Yang on June 2, 2015, of Nelson Asanji Che as the Project Director. The project is funded with a loan from the country’s Chinese partners - Eximbank China.
The project of the Cameroon government through the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy will see the use of a particular renewable energy technology using solar panels. Experts say the solar panels will capture sunlight, charge the batteries and will supply the power to households after which excesses will recharge batteries and supply to households at night. The electrification of 166 localities is a trial of a first phase to cover 350 localities. The project in its entirety will cover 1000 localities. The components of the first phase are the fabrication and installation of solar panels, the commissioning and the electrification of the localities which are expected to kick start by the end of this month.
Villagers will pay less than FCFA 100 for a kilowatt of power when the project goes operational. However, the other class of the project customers like telephone companies will have to disburse a little above FCFA 100 per kilowatt in those localities. The project intends to generate revenue to pay back the loan. There is therefore nothing like accepting pitfalls. This can therefore be achievable with the putting in place of a sound team. Getting qualified personnel is therefore the wish of the project owners. The project vote holder is in the process of recruiting personnel and information from the Ministry of Water and Energy Resources say “it is a rigorous process with no room for errors.”
“All Localities Earmarked Must be Covered.”
Nelson Asanji Che, New Project Director For The Electrification of 166 Localities by Solar Photovoltaic Systems.
“The challenges are enormous. This is the first project of its kind in Cameroon. We have to be very cautious on how we recruit the people who will work on the project in order to proof that it can be executed. We are dealing in a rural milieu where mentalities are not the same as in urban areas. It’s true that we also have people in cities who find it difficult to settle their bills. One can therefore imagine how it can be in rural areas. We intend to bring in new prepaid metres (smart metres) whereby customers will have to pay for the credit before getting the electricity. The metre reading will tell consumers how their consumption is dropping just like what happens when we use our telephones. Given the fact that the project is earmarked for far off grid areas with most of them highlands with difficulties of accessibilities, we will have to overcome this challenge. We will not abandon any of the project beneficiaries because of problem of inaccessibility. Insecurity might also pose a problem but we are committed to working with all local communities as well as stakeholders. All localities earmarked for the project must be covered.”