MINISTRY OF ENERGY COMPLETES ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT IN FOUR DISTRICTS AND TOGETHER WITH UNOPS UNDERTAKES COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT ON RURAL RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS
By Ahmed Fonike

From the 31st October to the 3rd November 2017, the Ministry of Energy, UNOPS, EPA, Local Government and stakeholders have completed an assessment in Kono, Bombali, Moyamba & Port Loko.
The rationale for this was to fulfill EPA Environmental Social Impact Assessment requirements on the numerous solar installed systems across the country.
After two weeks of public notices and publications, several public disclosures and consultations alongside presentations from experts occurred in the various District Council Halls across the country. Radio discussions and community engagements on Rural Renewable Energy Projects formed part of the events as well as group discussions, questions and clarifications climaxed the events.
Alongside the Environmental Impact Assessment, the Ministry's experts on Renewable Energy and UNOPS have completed a segment of community engagements on Rural Renewable Energy Project (RREP) from 30 - 3 November 2017. It entailed community radio discussions and town hall meetings in areas that have the Community Health Centre solar light facilities in the North, South and Eastern provinces.
The rationale for this was to properly educate local communities about RREP. Such several engagements will follow from time to time as the project progresses from stage to stage. The communities visited expressed their happiness and appreciation for the knowledge gained and promised to take ownership of the project.

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