NAWEC urged to regularise electricity, water supply

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) has been told to buckle up to regularise the supply of water and electricity because the people have suffered enough now.

Speaking at a press conference organised by Power of Freedom held at Alliance Franco Gambia on Friday, Maimuna Manneh of Power of Freedom said people are sick and tired of the various excuses that NAWEC continues to give for its poor performance.

She said the company keeps promising of better days ahead but the situation keeps worsening every now and then.

“We are aware that the new government inherited the country in a drastic economic state, but we wonder if that is being used as an excuse for this poor performance,” Ms Manneh said, while asking rhetorically: But why should change of government affect NAWEC to this extent?

She said when people went to the polls in December 2016 and voted for the coalition, “they did not vote for a continuation of the former regime but instead they voted for better days”.

She argued that the electricity and water situation was even better in the former regime than now and the promised better days that people voted for never come up to now.

 “A lot of excuses have been given by NAWEC but people are not in excuse mode,” she affirmed, adding that the new government should know that people do not want to get deeper in the abyss. 

“This is the time to put our selfishness aside and work for the greater good of the people,” she said, accusing NAWEC of serving the top-notch government officials with constant power and water while neglecting the masses.

“Government should exist for the people; the people are not supposed to exist for those who govern to live in comfort lives, while us who elected them live in poverty. The duty of every government is to listen to the complaints of the people and address them.”

She pointed out that any government that is not concerned with the suffering of the people; any government that does not listen to complaints of hardship of their people should vacate political office.

Ms Manneh said with the poor power and water supply in The Gambia, it is difficult to understand why Gambians pay one of the most expensive electricity tariffs in the world.

Jerreh Badjie, founder Power of Freedom, said electricity is an indispensable tool for any meaningful development in any country.

He said the new government should reform the whole management of NAWEC and bring in Gambian engineers and electrical experts, including those from the Diaspora.

Also, Badjie said, the tax on the importation of solar panels should be reduced because as the situation is, Gambians cannot depend on NAWEC for constant electricity and water supply. 

Author: Fatou Dem