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Sierra Leone : Affordable electricity and safe drinking water on the basis of hydro power generation in Yele

General information
Project location: Yele, Sierra Leone
Consortium: Lion Heart Foundation, Zebra Special Products
Project Budget: € 2.1 million
External financing: Daey Ouwens Funds, DeveloPPP DEG
Project period: September 2009 - September 2012

Lion Heart Foundation is involved in supporting hospitals, schools and a feeding centre in the rural areas of Sierra Leone. To sustain these social facilities, it is implementing a programme called “Best of Both Worlds” – a holistic approach that encompasses a range of related profit and non-profit activities. The essence of this concept is that profits generated from commercial activities are used to financially sustain social facilities. Presently, this new concept is successfully piloted in the rural village of Yele.

Two key projects to be realized were the rehabilitation of Yele’s hydro electric power plant and its drinking water system. In order to develop and implement the project Lion Heart Foundation has partnered with Zebra Special Products. The objective of these investments was to foster social and economic development by supplying electricity and safe drinking water to households, enterprises and public facilities on a sustainable basis and as a model for replication elsewhere in Sierra Leone. The project is a unique public-private partnership, where the infrastructure is owned by the Government but management is undertaken by a new commercial entity established for this purpose. This new entity will ensure continuity well beyond the project term.

We managed to leverage the Lion Heart Foundation’s own resources by securing over € 1 million in grants:

  • The Dutch Daey Ouwens Fund approved grant funding for part of the rehabilitation of the hydro power plant;
  • The German DeveloPPP programme awarded grant funding for rehabilitation of the drinking water plant and part of the hydro power plant;
  • The Dutch Global Sustainable Biomass Fund approved grant funding for implementation of a feasibility study on generating income from palm oil residues.
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