welcome and congratulate the new Energy Minister for accepting to serve his
nation in the energy and petroleum realm, especially at this trying time in The
Gambia’s political, social and economic development process.
Assuming this responsibility means that the new minister is prepared to face head on the challenges inherent in the sector, as his ministry will be expected to ensure there is sustainable energy supply in the country, both in the urban and rural areas of The Gambia.
There has been the usual blame game, with finger pointing on electricity and water providers in the country.
However, it is said that when all is said and done, there is much to be said and done. So let it just be good.
It should be the beginning of the new energy minister’s task to look into addressing public rights to access electricity and water in the country.
The Gambian communities, including those living in Upper Fulladu West, Lower and Upper Saloum, as well Nianija constituencies in the Central River Region of The Gambia, conveyed messages through the Agriculture Minister, appealing for provision of much needed energy and water supply in their respective constituencies during political campaign activities for the National Assembly Elections.
These people depend mainly on uncovered wells - with an average of 40 to 60 meters deep - for their livelihoods. In some communities, a whole village shares a well; and women spend huge parts of their time to fetch water, in addition to other hard labour they endure, such as pounding their meals for cooking. They are appealing for machines, but they would need electricity also to run those machines.
Panchang and the surrounding villages in Upper Saloum District, CRR, are also pressing government to help them with access to water and electricity.
These are among huge challenges the new energy minister will have to face and work to overcome. There is serious need for the provision of adequate supply of water and electricity across the country, especially in the urban areas.
The people, small and medium-scale businesses, large firm, the hotels and many other establishments in the country would have their growth hindered for lack of adequate supply of water and electricity.
In fact, no nation would really develop in the absence of adequate supply of water and electricity. We are tired of epileptic provision of these essential life-sustaining amenities.
We are therefore appealing to the new minister to make a real difference in this national headache of inadequate and unreliable supply of both water and electricity.
Another challenge associated with the provision of these amenities is the cost of it. Some businesses are forced to close owing to exorbitant cost of electricity – both for its cost when provided and for its cost in burning fuel such as gas and petrol when there is power outage.
So whilst we are challenged by rampant power outage and water shortage, especially in recent days, we are also hit hard by the cost of maintaining them when provided.
So our energy minister has a real problem at hand as he assumes the portfolio of the energy and petroleum ministry.
It is really challenging though but in life we achieve success and development as we overcome challenges.
We therefore wish the new energy minister a successful journey in his new post in the new government and new dispensation.
Wish him all the best!
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Martin Luther King, Jr