Barrow lays foundation stone for landmark energy project in LRR

Monday, February 25, 2019

The president of the Republic of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, over the weekend laid the foundation stone of The Gambia River Basin Development Organisation (OMVG) power project sub-station in Soma, Lower River Region.

 The sub-station is designed to link the eastern part of The Gambia through the NAWEC interconnection networks. The ceremony was attended by the Vice President Ousainou Darboe, Cabinet ministers, representative from the OMVG member states, service chiefs and other senior government officials.

The Gambia River Basin Development Organisation (OMVG) is a sub-regional institution which involves four countries namely; The Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Conakry and Guinea Bissau driven by a collaborative structure for connecting the four nations.

The OMVG High Commission is the executing agency of the integrated development programmes of the four member states for a rational and coherent development of shared hydroelectric resources in The Gambia, Kayanga-Geba and Koliba-Corubal river basins.

“We are gathered here today to witness another giant step towards transforming the socio-economic circumstances of our nation through the launching ceremony of the Soma Sub-station under the OMVG energy project interconnection component,” Barrow said.

The striking electricity demand and supply in The Gambia, he added, is enough to highlight the significance of this project. “The disparity also reflects the justification for the strong emphasis in the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018 to 2021 on attracting investment, improving access to electricity and enhancing household energy security for national development.”

President Barrow stated: “To address the national energy supply deficit, the Soma Sub-station when complete is expected to increase the current 40% access to electricity by 20%, while increasing our generation capacity from 102 to 250 merger wards,” he said, adding that it will also reduce electricity losses within the country.

Barrow added that as an essential link in economic and social development chain, electricity is a major catalyst or driving forces for national development.

The OMVG has reenergised its activities to enhance and support the development of appropriate energy infrastructure in member countries.

He acknowledged the OMVG member states’ continuous commitment to strengthen sub-regional integration and also providing the support necessary for the realisation of this important project, saying that the project stands to revitalise its relations and strengthen their solidarity.

He paid tribute to the African Development Bank (ADB), the Islamic Development Bank and the French Development Agency among others including the OMVG member states for mobilising 722 million U.S. Dollar for this project.

Lasana Fofana, OMVG High Commissioner, hailed the OMVG member states for their commitment towards the realisation of the interconnection project, adding that construction of sub-station in other member states has commenced. He called for the total support of the head of states of the OMVG for the realisation of this important energy project.

Basirou Jallow from the ADB, said the OMVG project will promote the sharing of energy and improve electricity supply in the member states by providing clean and cheaper electricity.

Governor Fatou Jammeh-Touray, said the project is another milestone in the socio-economic development of the country, while describing it as long overdue.

Author: Momodou Jawo