When NRECA International began working in South Sudan to bring electricity to communities devastated by years of civil war, there was very little, if any, infrastructure. Through three successive projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), NRECA International has helped establish three electric utilities in Yei, Maridi and Kapoeta to serve local residents and businesses that previously had access to electricity only through expensive—and often dangerous—power generation.
NRECA International staff members have been engaged once again in a new USAID program to provide ongoing support to these small community power systems. The Electric Sustainability Project (ESP), managed by NRECA team leader Bob Ellinger, will foster sustainable and safe utility practices and operations to keep the lights on as the utility personnel continue to build accounting, financial management, maintenance and customer service skills over the three year ESP project life.
NRECA employees Bob Ellinger and Janet Kauffman are stationed in Maridi, South Sudan to design and manage hands-on training activities for utility management and staff of the three small utilities in Yei, Kapoeta and Maridi. Training programs are being offered for finance and administrative staff, managers and directors, and line workers. As it does for many projects, the International Foundation will contribute to these efforts by identifying and sponsoring volunteers with a wide range of knowledge and skills from U.S. co-ops.
Helping these utilities become more sustainable will allow them to better serve their community members, expand access to new areas and help grow their local economies. Stable, sustainable electric utilities and better access to reliable, affordable and safe electricity is one step toward ensuring that communities here, in the world’s newest country, continue to develop and succeed. Without question, we will need your support. If you are interested in working on this important project, please contact us today at Ingrid.firstname.lastname@example.org.