Sierra Rutile Foundation lights up the streets of Moriba and Mogbwemo
The streets of Moriba and Mogbwemo townships in Southern Sierra Leone will soon be brighter and safer at night, thanks to the Sierra Rutile Foundation which recently approved funding for the installation of solar street lights in the area.
The Sierra Rutile Foundation, a non‐profit organisation set up by Sierra Rutile to handle community development in the area, decided on solar powered street lights because they are more environmentally friendly and sustainable than a system which depends on oil or other non-renewable fuels, and can be used in areas not easily connected to the national grid. They have the added advantage of being easy to maintain and, as part of the installation process, community members are being given maintenance training.
Residents of Moriba Town and Mogbwemo will benefit from increased safety – research shows that street lighting can reduce road accidents at night by around 30% – as well as the opportunity for more night-time trading and commercial activity. Street lighting also deters petty criminals and burglars and improves community life and activities.
Andy Taylor, Head of Operations at Sierra Rutile, said of the initiative: “Powering the country’s economic development without harming the environment is an important feature of the Sierra Leone Government’s Agenda for Prosperity, and this initiative from the Sierra Rutile Foundation complements the Government’s rural electrification project, which aims to improve the quality of livelihoods in rural communities through renewable energy.”
During a stakeholder tour of Moriba and Mogbwemo to identify where the lights would be located, Mogbwemo’s Town Chief, Chief Sheku Momoh thanked the Sierra Rutile Foundation for the wonderful initiative and prayed for the cordial relationship between the mining company and the community to continue. The Town Chief of Moriba Town – Chief Gbessay Kpanabom also thanked the Sierra Rutile Foundation on behalf of his community and expressed his appreciation for the initiative.
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