managing director of National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) has spoken
of the institution’s resolve to provide 24-hour electricity supply throughout
the country before the end of the year.
Baba Fatajo was speaking at a press conference held at NAWEC head office on Thursday.
The press conference was meant to shed light on the newly funded World Bank project as well as the current water situation in the Greater Banjul Area.
Fatajo acknowledged that they have come a long way with regard to the improvement of their services.
“It is something we are working on and we are very much optimistic that it is achievable during the course of this year. We went through very challenging moments from 2017 to early part of 2018, but we have been very focused in making sure that we improve on our services. And now we have gotten to a stage where we have achieved stability. We have always been working towards that.”
He continued: “As we speak today, on the side of power generation, we have been able to meet the demand and in fact some of our plans are idle because we have more than enough capacity in relation to demand”.
NAWEC boss indicated that the focus now has been shifted from power generation to transmission and distribution where they have challenges.
He underscored his institution’s resolve to ensure they gain the level of stability that is acceptable, saying they are also looking at ways and means of expanding as there are a lot of areas where they can go and provide electricity access to communities.
In order to stabilise the power generation, he went on, they recently entered into an agreement with CAPA and coupled with that; the ongoing projects they embarked upon are running.
“The nine megawatts is in service and we are commissioning 11 megawatts at Kotu Power Station, and the six megawatts at Brikama; one is also being commissioned. We are pretty much comfortable with our power generation as at now,” he stated.
He noted that they are also embarking on other projects in the Greater Banjul Area and a lot of communities would be electrified within the next one and a half year as well as some communities in Kiang.
With regard to rural Gambia, NAWEC MD, said they have made significant strides in improving their services and they currently connected the Greater Niumi Area with 24-hour electricity supply. Through the rural electrification extension, he added, they are extending the line from Barra to Kerewan with a view to bridging the gap, likewise between Illiassa and Farafenni.
“We hope in the next few weeks the entire North Bank would be having 24-hour access to electricity,” he added.
He maintained that they are also increasing their capacity in their major stations in the provinces.
“We are going to double our existing capacity in Farafenni and Basse and with the same project extend the line from Bansang and connect it to Basse”.
Fatajo outlined that in addition to that; NAWEC would benefit from The Gambia electricity and modernisation project which is aimed at reinforcing their transmission and distribution network.
Similarly, he said they are also working with World Bank and West African Power Pool to provide more access to their services throughout the country, as well as working on having another transmission line from Kaolack to the Greater Banjul Area in a bid to increase operational flexibility and options in sourcing cheaper energy from the sub-region.
He commended government for its level of support, further expressing optimism that they would continue to ensure that they have a lasting and sustainable solution.