By Ragan M. Conteh
The Director of Commercial Service Department, Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA), Donald Kopoi, has informed members of the media that his institution has received a report of one hundred and sixty (160) meters theft between January to August 2020 nationwide.
Director Donald Kopoi made the disclosure on Wednesday 16th September 2020 at the EDSA conference room, Siaka Steven Street in Freetown.
According to Donald Kopoi, the rate at which meter theft is intermittently increasing is cause for concern as a public institution, adding that all stakeholders in the Ministry viewed the stolen meters as undermining the laws that are enshrined in EDSA 2011 Act.
He went on that, his institution has received several reports in 2019 from members of the public of meter theft, adding that, since the start of 2020, the meter theft is gradually increasing, which has bothered the institution and it has cost huge revenue loss for the sector.
“This is unacceptable,” he stressed.
Director Kopoi revealed that EDSA is a public institution that was established by an Act of Parliament. It has laws binding the institution, as well as protecting property and infrastructure of the sector. He informed that, since the issue of meter theft is now on the spotlight, EDSA will mount robust measures to ensure that such thefts are nipped in the bud.
He pointed out that, since the meter theft ramification is huge, the institution has given stern warning to those engaged on such unwarranted activities, as the institution will deal with perpetrators severely according to the laws of the country. He encouraged members of the public to contact EDSA or call on 672 toll free number immediately they experience such unscrupulous move.
EDSA Head of Communication, Sahr Nepor, said the 2011 EDSA Act of Parliament states that “A person who willfully tampers with or obtains any installation or part of an installation so as to cause or thereby to cause injury to human life or damage to any apparatus or other property commits an offence and is liable on conviction or to a fine of not less than seventy million Leones or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both the fine and imprisonment.”
He said the 2011 EDSA Act went further that, “A person who by reckless or negligent act or connects a respect of any installation under his control cause harm to any person or damage to property commits an offence and is liable to conviction to a fine not less than fifty million Leones or an imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both the fine and imprisonment.”
Sahr Nepor went further that, meter theft is now a burning issue for EDSA and that the institution is very much concerned and ready to curtail the spate of meter theft in the country.
Nepor however stated that, the issue of meters is not a problem anymore for EDSA because the institution has a stock of meters for customers. He urged members of the public to report any meter theft in the institution.