The occasion was graced by senior officials from NAWEC and some senior government officials
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Haddy Njie, project coordinator at NAWEC, hailed the inhabitants for their cooperation. She said the solar project was financed by the World Bank (WB), European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union (EU) with the objective to dispatch variable renewable energy and improve the operational performance of NAWEC.
She revealed the solar plant will be constructed on 31 hectare piece of land traditionally owned by Santa Juba and Mansa Kunda kabilos of Jambur.
“Therefore as per the World Bank’s involuntary resettlement policy and the European Investment Bank’s environmental and social standard, a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) was developed to compensate those negatively affected by the project.”
She added that based on that the government of The Gambia has ensured the RAP is implemented to fairly compensate all persons affected by the project.
Lamin Sanneh, governor, West Coast Region, hailed the project, saying government is prepared to adequately compensate people who have been affected by the project. He thus thanked the people of Jambur for their patience and also support.
For his part Ebrima Sillah, minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, thanked NAWEC for the foresight by considering from the very beginning the families affected by the project.
He described the project as historic in terms of project implementation in which local people were not only consulted but their needs were considered from the onset.
“And today we are here gathered to finally distribute the compensation package to the affected families whose lands are part of the project area that is going to host this very important plant, the solar plant.”
According Minister Sillah, it is ample testimony of the commitment of The Gambia government in ensuring equity in whatever “we do in ensuring fairness and also putting the interest of the people that are always affected in projects. This is the first time in the history of The Gambia.”
The NAWEC managing director, Nani Juwara, thanked the government of The Gambia for standing by NAWEC and providing the needed funds to compensate the affected families.
Kitabu Bojang, a beneficiary, thanked NAWEC for keeping to their promises, saying the money would help them a lot
Sonna Bojang, also a beneficiary, equally thanked NAWEC for fulfilling their promises.