COVID-19 Gap Tracker Results for Old Wharf Slum Community Access to Electricity/Power


We designed a survey questionnaire to collect responses from 234 household within the Old Wharf Slum community in Freetown urban municipality. Surveys were collected on the 1st and 2nd of May 2020. We administered questionnaires to 234 respondents who are household heads. We also conducted interviews in addition to questionnaires. The confidence interval of the study is plus/minus 5.78 with a confidence level of 95% , with a sample proportion estimated at 50% and is reflective of a population size of about 1,248 households present in the Old Wharf slum community.

Our Target

We targeted 234 households in the Old Wharf slum community in Freetown urban municipality.


60% of households at Old Wharf do not have power/electricity.  

48% household use touch light to access power/light at night.


75% of the 40% that have power/electricity spends between Le10,000-Le50,000 every week.

58% of households that have power/electricity only have electricity for 10hours at most per day.Households top three use of electricity is to see at night, to charge phone, and for children to study at night.



98% of total household surveyed are earning less since coronavirus outbreak. 98% currently are not receiving any NGO or Government support to help with electricity bill.

45% of household respondents are unemployed while 47% are self employed. 56% are females while 44% are males.

69% of household have at most 11 and at least one occupant(s).  77% of  household respondents are married.

43 households have 5 children who are below 21 years old. Apart from 30 households, all households have children who are either enrolled in school or college.


Community Intervention Design

The Central Government, Freetown City Council and relevant NGOs and Partners should support the Old Wharf Community have access to electricity.

Community Intervention Suggestions

60% of households at Old Wharf Community are without power/electricity. Only 40% have access to power/electricity. 98% are not receiving any government or NGO support with electricity bills. All households surveyed have children below 21 years old and are all school/college going except for 30 households with no children under 21 years old. With 98% of household surveyed and earning less income since coronavirus in Sierra Leone, the Central government, and Freetown City Council(FCC) and Non Governmental Organizations(NGOs) should intervene and support the Old Wharf community and other slum communities in Freetown by doing the following:


  1. Consider providing power/electricity to 60% of household at Old Wharf that are currently without electricity/power. Relevant stakeholders can work with households to find ways that could empower families to afford paying their electricity bills.

  2. With Old Wharf top use of power/electricity being for seeing at night, charging phone, for radio and television and for children to study, relevant stakeholders should strongly consider providing off grid renewable energy facility to households. The top usage of power/electricity for households comes with low voltage appliances. Affordable solar energy will be ideal to provide for the low voltage requirement of household top electrical appliances. Any solar power/electricity should also come with financial schemes to support family afford the facility especially with 98% earning less income since coronavirus outbreak in Sierra Leone.

  3. With schools and colleges closed indefinitely and with majority households at Old Wharf having children that enrolled in school/college; solar powered televisions, radios, and solar powered charging ports should be available to avoid alienating slum community children from the country’s current available radio and mobile phone school learning programs. The provision of solar power/electricity to play radio and charge mobile phones will also ensure that Old Wharf community have first hand access to coronavirus information through radio and television media. This will yield a double dividend by equipping household with information on how to prevent coronavirus and also prevent the consumption of fake news and misinformation through rumors.

Who can use our COVID-19 Gap Tracker Results?

Our gap tracker results can be used by all stakeholders directly involved in the fight against COVID-19 in Sierra Leone. We particularly encourage Civil Society Organizations(CSO) and newsrooms  to use our results and advocate for COVID-19 response gaps to be addressed by the central and local governments and partners.

How to Get Involved?

Our aim is to promote advocacy for citizens through the use of data and design thinking in order to build valuable information and design community intervention approach that stakeholders can adapt to address any identified COVID-19 response gaps existing among citizens. Hence, we welcome all partnerships and sponsorship committed to supporting us achieve our aim.

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