Montserrado County District #4 lawmaker Rustonlyn Suacoco Dennis has assured the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) of championing a new bill which seeks to make power theft an economic crime.
Rep. Dennis made the assertion recently during a town hall meeting between residents of the Soul Clinic community and the Community Outreach team of the LEC.
Rep. Dennis described power theft as "an epidemic seriously undermining the economy" and said the act will assist the people of Soul Clinic and adjacent communities to fight power theft.
According to Rep. Dennis, power theft undermines the LEC's ability to connect new customers to the national electricity grid.
She urged them to help the LEC protect the electrical installations in the community.
"I can assure you that by the time this bill reaches the House of Representatives, know that you already have 20 signatures secured for its passage. I am going to take the lead in ensuring that this bill is passed in the shortest time possible. I like to inform your team that we are going to work with you in ensuring that power theft does not exist in Soul Clinic," she said.
Soul Clinic is one of the communities earmarked for the resumption of the second phase of the World Bank-funded Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project (LACEEP) - Monrovia-Kakata corridor electrification project.
Information and Public Affairs Manager Mambu James Kpargoi informed residents of the resumption of the project and that customer recruitment was underway in four communities including Soul Clinic.
Winston Bedell, Assistant Public Relations Manager, encouraged the residents to properly wire their homes in preparation for the connection to the national electricity grid and cautioned the residents not to pay money to any crew in the field for connection or to mark their structures.
Network and Installation Supervisor, Brendan O'Connor cautioned residents about the danger that power theft poses to transformers and other installations that have been installed to provide electricity to their communities.
Mr. O'Connor encouraged residents to prevent criminals from making illegal connections to the installations when the lines are energized.
He lamented on the negative effect power theft is having on LEC's expansion projects as well as undermining revenue generation.
The second phase to the World Bank Funded LACEEP - Monrovia-Kakata corridor electrification project is expected to connect additional 10,300 new users to the national electricity grid.