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The Solutions are all Around us

Aug 7, 2008, 5:23 AM

The first ever wind energy project was recently inaugurated in Batokunku in Kombo South. The initiative which brought this project to fruition should serve as a lesson not only to other communities in the country but to the government as well. Alternative sources of energy are vital to the future prosperity of The Gambia. We have abundant sunlight and should be making far greater use of it. We heard a statement earlier this year from President Jammeh saying that the future of Gambian electricity lay in solar power. At the time we praised the statement and urged the government to move swiftly to implement a plan of action with regard to this worthy idea. There has however been little heard on the topic of late so we renew our plea to those in power to press ahead with a comprehensive plan to make The Gambia more energy self-sufficient by implementing a full solar power initiative with all possible haste.

The example of Batokunku is also a very interesting one. While wind is less abundant than solar power it is clear from this example that it can be used to sustain smaller communities. The project consists of a single turbine capable of generating 150K VA for villagers. 80 compounds have been connected to the distribution grid and will be supplied by the single turbine. Another hugely positive aspect of the project is that any excess energy will be sold to NAWEC and perhaps even lead to cheaper prices for consumers if enough projects of this kind exist.

Many people in the field of sustainable energy are new placing huge hope for energy production in the technology developing around wave energy. As we have long stretches of coastline at our disposal we must consider this to be a very real option for our future energy needs. While there is real hope for us in all these sources perhaps our greatest potential lies in the mighty River Gambia. This vast body of water has the potential to unleash vast quantities of energy which could supply not only The Gambia but perhaps even some of the needs of our neighbours. This would not only reduce our dependence on external energy sources but would generate much needed revenue for the government to invest in worthy projects to promote national development.

We have enormous potential all around us in The Gambia to help us attain energy self-sufficiency, what is need now is the political will and initiative to seize these opportunities for the betterment of the lives of all Gambians.

"In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments - there are consequences."

Robert Greene Ingersoll

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