OMVG Experts’ Regional meeting wraps up

Thursday, May 03, 2018

A two days validation of The Gambia River Basic Development  Organisation (OMVG) Experts’ Regional meeting on the Findings of the Stage ( 1) on studies on the back-swamps recently concluded at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Banjul.

The meeting was attended by various technicians within the subregion and hosted by The Gambia government.

The OMVG energy project is a structural regional project forming part of the priority projects of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) and the Programme for Infrastructural Development in Africa (PIDA)

In his statement on the behalf of the minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, the Permanent Secretary Lamin Jawara expressed warm gratitude and respect to the president of the Gambia, Adama Barrow, and chairman of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of OMVG.

According to PS Jawara, it comprises  of the Hydroelectric Development (HED) of the Sambangalo Dam with an installed capacity of 128 megawatts and an annual production  of 402 gigawatt- hours; and a network  of transmission line of 225 Kilovolts , with a length  of 1,677 km, of which 183 km are in The Gambia , equipped  with 36 pairs  of optical fibers for the development of telecommunication. It also has a transit capacity of 800 megawatts, 15 substations (high Voltsge)/medium  Voltage), with 2 dispatching systems , one at kaleta Dam in Guinea and the other at Sambangalou Dam in Senegal.

PS Jawara said that the study of the back-swamps is a complement to the environmental assessment of the hydroelectric development project of Sambangalou proposed by the OMVG. He added that the study focuses specifically on the flooding of back-swamps from The Gambia River that the country encounters between Simenti in the Niokolo-koba National Park, Senegal and Bansang in the Central River Region of The Gambia.

He cited that this complementary investigation aims to supplement the lack of information on the hydraulic operation of these back-swamps, their ecological value and their use by the local populations in order to better identify the environmental and socio-economic impacts, probably substantial that would have been a decrease in the flood levels due to the project.

He stated that the study which exceeds in duration  and magnitude of the possibilities of environmental regulatory assessments, has in particular the purpose of establishing the possible need vis-a vis an artificial rising of water level during the operating  phase that the dam is likely to generate to mitigate  the effects of decreased  flooding.

“It will allow for a better setup of the software for the optimal management of the reservoir of the Sambangalou dam, in order to meet, among others, during  the operation, the needs of environmental and socio-economic services  downstream of the dam,” he said.

“I remain convinced that during this meeting, in your capacity as stakeholder actors of the projects, you will examine the various issues with your professionalism  and usual wisdom so that together, we can meet the challenges of the achievement on the ground of this strategic project of our organisation and its member countries.”