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City of Banjul
Monday, September 25, 2023

Citizens demand access to water


In a recent move, the women of Bundung gathered and expressed their frustration at the perennial lack of portable water. They urged their National Assembly Member to come to their aid to ensure that they have access to water. They complained that for years the National Water and Electricity Company (Nawec) has failed to solve the problem of water in their community.

It is clear that the good people of Bundung are not alone in this cry. There are many communities on the Gambia who constantly suffer the lack of water. Many other areas have the same or similar problems and have complained repeatedly but to no avail.

In some parts of this country, especially the urban areas, women have to wake up as early as 2am in order to fetch water because if they do not, the taps will be dry by the time they wake up. This has been going on for years in most communities and they have not been able to resolve it.

The worst part of it is that, the lack of a constant supply of water does not prevent Nawec from sending in huge bills to be paid. If for some reason one is unable to pay these bills on time, the agents from Nawec will come and disconnect the metre only to be reconnected after fully paying the arrears. This is indeed painful.

When one considers the importance of water in one’s daily life, one will appreciate the pain and suffering of the women who have to continuously battle the problem of lack of water. We need water for cooking, drinking, laundry and all other domestic activities. Therefore, the absence of portable water is indeed traumatizing.

The problem is also being faced by rural Gambians who in some cases trek for kilometers in order to fetch water. But at least in the rural areas one may see wells or boreholes in some areas but here in the urban area, if the taps go dry so do the throats. This is something that certainly cannot go on forever.

The National Water and Electricity Company has to work out ways to ensure that citizens have access to water. If after five and half decades, access to water and electricity is still erratic, we really need to look at ourselves retrospectively and seek out ways to resolve it.

Water is life!

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