outcry from Gambians due to the lack of electricity and water supply for couple
of weeks and months now has almost reached a national crisis level.
Admittedly, the poor water and electricity supply is nothing new in The Gambia, as the deputy managing director of NAWEC recently put it so succinctly: “The situation of NAWEC is inherited and the power supply situation in this country has never been 100 per cent.”
Records have it that since 1977, power supply in the country has never been reliable and successive governments have tried to tackle it, but to no avail. This is probably because they have only been buying second hand generators, which outlived their services. Some of the present generators of NAWEC are more than 30-years-old.
Notwithstanding, people cannot continue to bear this acute dearth of water supply and erratic power supply, which have been seriously affecting businesses in virtually all strata of society.
The water situation has reached a level that makes it very difficult to have access to potable safe-drinking water, coupled with the epileptic power supply to generate the little available boreholes in our villages and towns. And as a result, this has the potential to cause a national health emergency, caused by drinking and bathing from dirty water.
Without regular energy supply, businesses cannot be effectively operated and the damage it causes on goods and services cannot be quantified in terms of monetary value, as it can amount to millions of dalasis in loses.
The last thing a fragile and deeply bankrupt economy needs is a man-made disaster that can bring the country’s economy to a halt.
Apparently, we are told that the government is working out measures to manoeuvre the problem, but these measures need to be immediately implemented to avoid potential social and economic catastrophes in the New Gambia.
The government should consider purchasing brand new generators from funds that have been donated to The Gambia to replace the old machines NAWEC has in place.
It should also reach out to donors and investors in the energy sector, so as to find out a lasting solution to the energy supply problems Gambians are experiencing in recent times. Wind and solar energy is a perfect option for The Gambia to begin to explore, as we have all the available sources for renewable energy supply in abundance, as alternative sources of energy.
“‘We can, and must, shift to an economy in which 100% of our electricity is generated renewably.”