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‘NAWEC water sector needs proper investment’

Nov 9, 2020, 12:04 PM | Article By: Arfang M.S. Camara

The managing director of the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), Nani Juwara has stated that the only way to solve the problem of water in the country is to put more focus in terms of the investment it requires.

Mr. Juwara during an exclusive interview with The Point said: “The issue of water is just like that of electricity. Once the population and communities are growing, we also face with challenges to increase the production capacity of our facilities. We have been connecting more people to the same supply that is now available.”

He added that because of these problems some areas have to go for hours and days without water supply, adding that after the change of government, they were able to secure some funding from their traditional partner (World Bank, French Development Agency and now the Organisation of Islamic Conference) to improve the water supply in the country especially within the Greater Banjul Area.

“We are aware that people are going through some challenges to access regular supply of water. This, we understand is affecting a number of communities within the Greater Banjul Area. But with the support from the Indian Water Project, we are expected to increase the production capacity by adding about 10 new boreholes in the GBA.”

He indicated they have also built a new reserve water tank with a capacity of about 1 million liters at the Sukuta Water Treatment Plant, noting that the water that would pump from the 10 new boreholes now come to the Sukuta Water Treatment Plant to help solve some of the major challenges faced in the areas of Kanifing, Fajara, Bundung, Nema and Tabokoto amongst others.

“The new boreholes we hope to commission before the end of November would help to significantly improve the supply of water in communities.”

The NAWEC MD was quick to add that they might not able to solve the whole problem once, saying however that once the capacity is added, the demand also continues to increase.

“With the support of World Bank under the covid response, we will be drilling an additional 11 boreholes and about seven out of that, would be within the Greater Banjul Area and some to the rural areas which will significantly minimise the problems.”

He added that with the support from OIC, they are going to have a treatment plant in Sanyang with additional 12 boreholes which is all geared towards minimising the problem of irregular water supply in the GBA.

On the issue of the burst pipes in the streets

Mr. Juwara said that the issue of burst pipes is a complex one, adding that NAWEC is facing a real challenge in that area especially within the GBA.

“When we laid our pipes they go deep down in the ground but because of erosion, most of the times they are being exposed. We have that serious challenge within the GBA because the water ways are all been blocked now which makes water to go everywhere.

According to him, most of the pipes that are seen burst and exposed in the streets are due to surface erosion, adding that they are working very hard by always going and fixing them when they are aware of such.

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