For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Officials from the U.S. Government and the Government of Southern Sudan joined Western Equatoria State authorities and members of the Maridi community to inaugurate the town's first power generation and electricity distribution system. The Maridi community participated during the construction phase of the project by taking part in stakeholder meetings to decide on the type of utility to be built, providing most of the local labor force for construction activities, and utilizing local materials from Maridi.
With a generation capacity of 880 kilowatts, the Maridi plant can serve about 900 customers and already has materials available to initially install 725 service connections. Approximately 21 km of primary and secondary lines have been completed to provide a backbone for future expansion. Potential major consumers of the power include Maridi's local business community and residents, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), small-scale businesses, and traders who operate along the town's main streets and within the market. Other potential customers include schools, medical facilities, and government offices. Electricity in Maridi will enhance security through street lighting, promote economic activity through more flexible hours of trade, and provide convenience to households.
The U.S. Consul General in Juba, Ambassador R. Barrie Walkley, Chief Guest Hon. Anthony Lino Makana, representing H.E Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, the President of Government of Southern Sudan, Governor of Western Equatoria State H.E. Col. Bangasi Bakosoro, and the Government of Southern Sudan Minister for Energy and Mining H.E. Garang Diing Akuong all took part in yesterday's inauguration event.
The Maridi project is implemented by USAID partner, the Louis Berger Group, in partnership with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). The project comprises construction of power generation and distribution facilities, customer connections, the establishment of a utility, and the training of utility staff. Training provided in Maridi covered commercial and technical aspects such as meter reading and billing, accounting, linemen skills, and human resource and customer relations, among others.
This is the third electrification project in southern Sudan funded by the American people. The first project, in Yei, was completed in 2008. USAID inaugurated the second electrification project in Kapoeta town in Eastern Equatoria State on February 4, 2011.
USAID funding for the Maridi project, including training and project oversight by USAID implementing partners, will be approximately $3.9 million at completion in September 2011. USAID funding to southern Sudan's energy sector overall since 2005 totals approximately $20 million. The United States is the single largest donor to Sudan, contributing nearly $10 billion in assistance to Sudan and eastern Chad since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.
For more information on USAID programs in Sudan, please visit www.usaid.gov/sudan.
Last updated: June 12, 2012