By: KEBBA MAMBURAY
Mr. Baba Fatajo the Managing Director of NAWEC has told reporters that under a project they hope to achieve 24 hours of power supply nationwide, before the end of the year.
The MD made this revelation on Thursday June 7th at a press conference to dilate on the electricity and water supply shortage that has hit the Greater Banjul area of recent. He said the institution has gone a long way to improve services; noting that the period from 2017 to early 2018, were very challenging moments for the nation’s Utility Company.
Fatajo disclosed to the press that on the sidelines of the recent donor conference in Brussels NAWEC signed a $41 million grant that will be used to finance a project called the Gambia Electricity Restoration and Modernization Project (GERMP). He said that this project will reinforce the transmission and distribution network of the nation’s Utility service provider and add on the generation capacity of NAWEC through renewable energy; that at the regional level, a project is in progress to connect member countries within the sub-region with a view to providing imported cheaper energy from within the sub-region.
Fatajo said they have achieved the stability they have been working for by meeting the demand in power generation; that now the attention will be shifted from power generation to transmission and distribution where they have some challenges too.
Fatajo asserted that they are looking for ways of expanding supply because there are many places in need of water and electricity. He further said that NAWEC has entered into an agreement with ‘Karpower’ who are now operational. Fatajo pointed out that the 9 megawatts generator is now in service and they will soon commission the 11 megawatts generator at the Kotu Power Station as well as the 6 megawatts generator at Brikama. He further said that they are embarking on other projects in the Greater Banjul Area and some parts of Kiang for grid extension to many communities in the next 18 months.
Fatajo further informed the press that they have connected the Greater Niumi areas with many villages and towns now enjoying electricity supply round the clock; that NAWEC is expanding the line of electricity supply from Barra to Kerewan, Illiassa and Farafenni, and promised that in the short term, the entire North Bank will get 24 hours of power supply.
Fatajo said with the Rural Electrification Extension project (REEP), NAWEC is increasing the capacity of major power stations in the rural communities and will double existing capacity available in Farafenni and Basse. He further revealed that through the same project, they are going to extend the line from Bansang to connect to Basse, in order to achieve 24 hours of power supply nationwide, before the end of the year.
Fatajo concluded by apologising to their loyal customers about the of lack of water in Bakoteh for the past days which he said, was due to the disconnection of pipes, that their technicians are currently on the ground to fix the problem.