Nawec’s electricity expansion goes eastwards
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
For the first time in the history of The Gambia, villages in
the Kombo East District are enjoying 24hrs electricity, thanks to the West
Coast Region Electrification Project under the Nawec’s Rural Electrification
Contracted to Ballast Nedam, a Dutch firm, the
electrification project first phase started in Kombo East, bringing palpable
excitement in the district. From Mandinaba to Kafuta and Faraba-Sutu to Sohm, the
streets are all bright at night.
The project has proved successful, with many of the villages in the area already enjoying street lights and electricity in their homes. Nawec has already supplied and installed over 70 pre-paidelectricity meters commonly known as cash power in homes that first applied for them.
President Jammeh has always demonstrated his commitment to
transform West Coast Region, from Kartong to Kalagi, by electrifying the whole
region. Electrifying the region, with a particular view on Kombo
East, where Nawec is currently implementing the first phase of the project,
will help many emerging villages realise their enormous development potentials,
particularly in business.
Mandinaba, for instance, with its strategic location for business and a transit point for travellers from places like Basse and Jarra Soma and even from Senegal’s Cassamance region, will attract activities like meetings and other social activities. As the village is already enjoying electricity, people, particularly those who acquired lands in the village a long time ago are now rushing to develop them. Big villages like Kuloro, Pirang and Kafuta are all enjoying street lights.
In the past, people of Kombo East used to travel as far as Brikama to charge their mobile phones, car batteries and other activities like printing documents and internet browsing. In Mandinaba, there is a proposed housing scheme of the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) that is yet to commence. But with the coming of electricity, there are expectations that the project will start soon.
“I have already
started selling cold water, ice and other products with the coming of
electricity,” says Kaddy Sanyang, a shopkeeper in Mandinaba. She told the Daily
Observer that the coming of electricity to her village is a real breakthrough.
“We have nothing to say but to thank President Jammeh and his government for the timely installation of electricity in my village,” Langfilly Sanno, the alkalo of Mandinaba said. Comparing the district, particularly Mandinaba today with the 1980s, Sanno said it is like the ‘sky and the sea’, observing that many changes have taken place.
The availability of electricity anywhere plays a crucial role in checking crime. Today, whatever is going on in many villages in Kombo East can be seen at distance.
The station officer of the Mandinaba Police Post, Famara Sanneh said with the coming of the electricity in the district, their work has been made even easier. He said electricity is very important in facilitating the work of the security personnel, adding that they have already seen this since the installation of street lights.
Author: Amadou Jallow