A week ago I was writing an essay for my International Environmental Law class on Africa’s Energy grid (focusing on Sierra Leone).
Doing this essay, I experienced a very humbling and emotional feeling from the moment I typed in the sentence “Growing up, I never experienced 24 hours electricity supply on every day of the week”. And just like that, with that one sentence, memories flooded my mind. These were memories of how my neighborhood friends and I would run around our compound with exhilaration when we’ve finally gotten electricity supply after 3 weeks of blackout. I can also still hear in my head the harmonious roar our entire neighborhood will make when there was power supply, the roar was deafening. “Aaa NPA don do am for we tiday”.
As I type this in, I can hear the buzzing noise of our Lebanese neighbor’s generator that annoyingly lulled me to sleep every night. I am reminded of having to go in search of ‘ice block’ just so that the food in the fridge would stay put, because we were not expecting power supply for the next three or so weeks. “Den say d cable na junction nain spark”. Then came memories of how my family used to rely on candles and kerosene lamp at night for the most part of my childhood. Later we made a switch to the chinese lamps (which we still use). More memories of how things got better, so we got our first generator (kabba tiger), then a Honda generator that came as a birthday gift to Mummy Bee. In relation to energy supply, things got better and better for us in my late teens which meant more humming sounds of the generator, and that meant more pollution of the air.
In as much as I had fond memories from growing up with black outs. I cannot ignore the sad fact that this happens in a country with one of the world’s largest natural hydro-electrical dam. I ought to have had a childhood not lacking of power supply.