Viewing cable 07CONAKRY1176
Title: MIDDLE GUINEA - INSIGHTS INTO ELECTRICITY AND

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07CONAKRY11762007-10-24 15:04:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Conakry
VZCZCXRO8265
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHRY #1176 2971504
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 241504Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1794
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS CONAKRY 001176 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ENRG PGOV ECON GV
SUBJECT: MIDDLE GUINEA - INSIGHTS INTO ELECTRICITY AND 
WATER SHORTAGES 
 
 
 ¶1.  (SBU) SUMMARY.  Conakry is not the only city in Guinea 
suffering from electricity and water shortages as a trip to 
Middle Guinea revealed.  In Labe, a city of approximately 
250,000 people, residents endure rolling blackouts and can 
only access running water once every two days.  Although a 
much-needed transformer was delivered two years ago, it 
remains inoperative due to the lack of parts necessary for 
connecting it to the power grid.  The lack of electricity 
also impacts the water supply since electricity is needed to 
power water pumps.  END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2.  (U) During a four-day trip through Middle Guinea, poloff 
met with technicians of the government-operated electrical 
company, Electricity de Guinea (EDG), and the water company, 
Societe Eau de Guinea (SEG) in Labe.  Poloff also visited the 
hydroelectric dam in Kinkon, located between Mamou and Labe, 
as well as a dam in Labe supplying public water. 
 
¶3.  (U) Government and civilian contacts alike informed 
poloff that the city of Labe imposes rolling blackouts 
because it cannot provide power simultaneously to all 
districts.  Due to lack of electrical supply to water pumps, 
running water is provided to districts once every two days. 
 
¶4.  (SBU) According to contacts, the Labe EDG administrative 
office was closed for business beginning October 16 because a 
number of youth representatives went to the office and 
threatened to tear it down if the administrators did not 
close it.  They reportedly told EDG officials that since EDG 
was not doing its job and supplying power to the city, there 
was no reason for them to be sitting in their offices.  The 
governor of Labe reportedly left for Conakry early on October 
17, along with the head of EDG, to meet with officials at the 
Ministry of Energy in order to find a solution to the city,s 
electrical supply problem.  (COMMENT. A youth representative 
later proudly informed Poloff of his association,s role in 
affecting the EDG closure.  END COMMENT.) 
 
¶5.  (SBU) Camara Aliy Wilson, a senior EDG technician working 
for the company for over ten years, showed poloff a brand-new 
electrical transformer that had been delivered to Labe two 
years earlier, but which remains in an unopened crate.  He 
said that the previous Prime Minister,s administration had 
sent someone from the Ministry of Energy to purchase the 
transformer, but because they failed to consult with 
technicians, they bought the wrong connecting equipment. 
Ever since the delivery of the transformer, EDG Labe has 
unsuccessfully lobbied the government to provide them with 
the necessary parts to connect it to the power grid. 
 
¶6.  (SBU) Wilson added that with the connection of the 
transformer, EDG could supply all of Labe with continuous, 
around the clock power ) and still have some to spare.  He 
said that since the 1990s, the city has not had reliable 
power noting that production levels have remained constant 
while consumption has more than doubled. 
 
¶7.  (SBU) Labe is at the northern end of Guinea,s main 
electrical grid, which supplies Conakry and all of Lower and 
Middle Guinea, Wilson explained, which means that Conakry,s 
electrical problems are related to the problems experienced 
all the way up the grid.  Wilson said that Middle Guinea 
hosts two major hydro-electric dams, which were built during 
Sekou Toure,s regime and it is these dams that supply most 
of the country,s power.  One of these dams is located in 
Kinkon, between Mamou and Labe, and the other in Kindia. 
 
¶8.  (SBU) With respect to water, government officials showed 
poloff the Toure dam, which is located about twenty minutes 
from the city via a very rough village road.  The dam was 
built in 1998 and the resulting reservoir is 17 meters deep. 
The dam employs three different pumps at three varying 
depths, but only uses two at any one time.  Located a few 
hundred feet away from the dam, a water treatment facility 
enables technicians to chemically treat the water before 
pumping it into the city. 
 
¶9.  (SBU) The prefect of Labe, Elhadj Ibrahima Bah, told 
poloff that there is more than enough water to supply the 
city for years to come.   The problem is electricity,, he 
said.  Elhadj Bah noted that the water pumps are not 
connected to the city power grid, which means that they 
operate off of an aging generator.  He said that the 
generator consumes 58 liters of gasoline per hour, a costly 
expense that the government simply cannot afford, which 
forces it to limit the water supply.  Elhadj Bah said that a 
team from the International Red Cross had also visited the 
dam and is considering a proposal to assist with financing in 
order to address some of the electricity issues. 
BROKENSHIRE