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Nawec’s water supply is hampered by insufficient storage– Energy Minister

Dec 20, 2019, 4:05 PM | Article By: Ismaila Sonko

Petroleum and Energy Minister Fafa Sanyang on Wednesday told deputies that Nawec’s water supply has been affected by lack of storage capacity and heavy reliance on pumping for distribution.

He added that the ongoing replacement of asbestos pipes and ageing distribution network are all problems for the national water and electricity supplier.

Mr. Sanyang was responding to questions from legislators with regard to the national water supplier’s current predicament.

It is worthy to inform that the water and sanitation project in the Greater Banjul Area, the asbestos replacement and network rehabilitation project would improve water supply services, he said.

“A water expert has recently been appointed by Nawec on a short term contract basis to support the water division and improve services,” he added.

He said power outages have generally been contained in recent months, indicating that there was a short period in November when electricity supply was less stable. He cited the main reasons saying engine maintenance works both by Nawec and Karpower were temporarily unplanned outage of engines and faults in the transmission and distribution lines. He added that stability has recently been restored.

Minister Sanyang, added that the government has recently received a grant from the AFDF in addition to other grants from the World Bank, European Investment Bank, European Union, ECOWAS and IsDB to provide access to electricity in rural areas across the entire country including Lower Fulladou West and CRR South. He added that all the communities concerned are being surveyed in preparation for the ECOWAS access project and the Gambia electricity restoration and modernisation project funded by the World Bank.

“The ongoing project funded by the Exim Bank of India is due to complete in the first half of 2020, while the low voltage distribution in the villages within the project area is complete and construction of the transmission line is about 60% complete. Any gaps that may exist if any will be covered by funding from AFDB, World Bank, European Investment Bank and European Union for access to electricity.”

Energy Minister Sanyang said his ministry and Nawec have finalised an emergency electricity supply arrangement with Karpower, a Turkish company for two (2) years, with the total energy supplied from May 2018 up to end of November, 2019 as 350,596,979 kilo watts.

He said that Nawec has energy deals with both Karpower and SENELEC, which cost about $60.5 million.

He said Nawec’s own generation cost as indicated in the road map was $0.30 (D15.00), meaning that the company was making a loss of about D4.86.