Helping our communities during Covid-19Monday 11th May 2020
While the COVID-19 situation has continued to change over the past month, our priorities have remained the same: supporting the health and safety of all Lekela employees and ensuring the provision of power from our operational projects is not affected. We have also taken all recommended steps to ensure the highest possible standards of health and safety among our employees and on our sites.
In more normal times, our programme of community investments to address education, enterprise and environmental needs would also have been active. However, in light of the pandemic and the needs it has generated, we have been assisting our local communities in their response to the coronavirus. We have summarised the various actions we are taking to help them below.
For our operating projects in South Africa - Noupoort, Loeriesfontein and Khobab - we’re working to secure community personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as distributing food parcels. We have also closed the Project Offices, which have switched to remote working to protect employees.
At our Perdekraal East and Kangnas projects, which are nearing completion of construction, community aid has included distributing pamphlets and organising a public information radio campaign on COVID-19, providing old age homes with bars of soap, sourcing materials for local entrepreneurs to make reusable masks for essential workers and the community, and funding SMEs to produce hand sanitizer and face masks.
And across all our projects in South Africa, we are working in collaboration with other Independent Power Producers active in the region, as well as the relevant medical authorities, to expedite the sourcing of PPE for local health facilities.
At Parc Éolien Taiba N’Diaye, measures have been set up to support local authorities in their response plan for COVID-19 and to strengthen community resilience. This includes awareness campaigns, distributing protective masks and gloves to local health facilities and support for vulnerable households including the provision of food.
As an emergency solution, the Parc Éolien Taiba N’Diaye team was able to procure sanitation posts which store water for hand washing and can be stocked with hand sanitiser. These have been distributed to key locations around the area – health posts, marketplaces, community centres, and places of worship. As part of Lekela’s broader community investment plan we are looking at more permanent water access and sanitation schemes.
At West Bakr Wind, which is under construction, a government-led response has ensured that communities are well supported. All Lekela employees are working from home to ensure their health and safety is protected. Our focus continues to be ensuring the health and safety of construction workers on site.
As things stand, we are not encountering any issues with the provision of power from our operational projects as a result of COVID-19. We continue to work closely with our contractors on projects in construction to mitigate against any major delays. We will monitor the situation closely across all our projects and are in continuous dialogue with our customers, utilities, governments and other stakeholders to do so.