The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Developments Organisation (UNIDO) has constructed and donated a 400 Kilowatts Hydro Power plant to communities on the Mambila Plateau in the state to boost power supply and enhance their quality of life.
Commissioning the project at Tunga Village In Sadauna Local Government Area yesterday, Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku expressed profound gratitude to the UNHCR/UNIDO for funding, supplying and installing the electro-mechanical equipments for the 400KW Hydro-Power plant and charged the communities around to see the project as their own and as such protect it from vandals with their lives. “Let me use this occasion to sincerely appreciate the UNHCR and UNIDO for this kind gesture. The tea factory here that provides means of livelihood to over 50,000 people around was literally dead for lack of power supply and with it the means of living Of these people. Today, these donors have revived the hope of the people and this is most commendable”.
“I therefore urge you, residents of Kakara who are the immediate beneficiaries of this project to protect it with all that you can. If you allow others to come and vandalise the equipment, you will be the first to suffer for it”, Ishaku said. Speaking at the occasion, the Commercial Printers Protest Planned Demolition Officer in Charge, UNIDO Regional Office Abuja stated that, the power station was installed to provide sustainable electricity to the Mambila Beverages Ltd and it’s immediate communities noting that the “completion of this hydro power project provides clean and sustainable energy to communities that a few years ago didn’t have access to it and it will assist in promoting a sustainable business environment for investment and commercial activities within the communities and ultimately, improve local economy”.
Explaining the rationale behind the project, the UNHCR representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mrs Angele Dikongue-Atangana stated that the Tea factory was literally dying and with it the livelihood of over 50,000 people who depended on it for their existence and survival. “At some point, the absence of power supply caused a general slowdown in economic activities, unemployment and hardship for the tea factory here in Kakara and its tea plantations consisting of about 6,000 farms.
“Therefore, the UNHCR saw the need to join forces with the Taraba state government to provide funds for the construction and installation of the 400KW Small Hydro Power scheme that today provides sustainable energy for industrial activities at the factory as well as productive uses of the adjoining communities”, Mrs Atangana said. Represented by the UNHCR Head of Sub Office Bauchi Mr Cesar Mbav Tshilombo, Mrs Atangana noted that the scheme is a major source of employment for the entire community including some 10,000 Nigerians who were repatriated from Cameroon by the Commission and happened to be inhabitants of the area. Since tea farming is the major preoccupation of the communities, there was need to power the tea company for optimum production and consequently give relevance to the people’s work.
-Okerafor Athanatius, Jalingo