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.”