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Friday, August 12, 2022

Gambia to double electricity capacity with OMVG

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By Lamin Cham & Isatou Jawara   A major energy project that will provide Gambia, Guinea, Senegal and Guinea Bissau, with 368 Megawatts will be implemented by the organization of the Gambia River Basin, OMVG, by 2020, according to experts attending the council of Ministers meeting in Banjul. According to Gambian officials the project will double the Gambia’s current capacity of 80 megawatts as the country will get 80 more megawatts. During the meeting at the Coral Beach Hotel and SPA in Brufut, the ministers of the four member states of the organization dwelled on the expert recommendations mainly on the OMVG energy project. The project, which is central to the objective of the organization, involves the construction of hydroelectric dams along the Gambia and Guinea river basin for the provision of electricity to all member countries. According to Gambian Education Minister, Claudia Cole, who represented the vice president with the keynote address, there are three complements to the project which include the construction of the Sambangalou dam in the Gambia near the Senegal-Guinea border with a capacity of 128 megawatts  with an average production of 402 gig watt an hour, the Kaleta dam  on the  river Koukoure in  Guinea with a capacity of 240 megawatts , 946 gigawatts per hour and a 225 high voltage interconnection network of 1677 kilometers  linking the electricity network of all member states. The Minister also reported that despite numerous funding challenges, progress has been made on all these component of the OMVG energy project since the last council of minsters meeting in Dakar last year. “The contract for the construction of the interconnection power transmission line to all member states has been signed and the project started in earnest,” she said. The Minister added that about 50,000 hectares of potentially irrigable land is also expected to be available for irrigation purpose to The Gambia as a result of the construction of the Sambangalou Dam Facility. “This is made possible as the dam when it is operational will push the saline front of the River Gambia downstream of the River up to Ballengo.” She added that the implementation of the Sambangalou Hydroelectric Facility, with a 3.8 billion cubic metre reservoir, will allow the creation of a considerable number of jobs during the construction phase as well as in the medium to long-term operation of the facilities. “It will also help create multiple opportunities in other related sectors such as telecommunications, fisheries and transport,” she concluded. The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Lamin Dibba, said the OMVG Energy Project is a clear manifestation of member states’ commitment to regional integration that can serve as a platform for African integration. “This further demonstrates the spirit of south- south cooperation in solving our common problems,” he said. OMVG is sub-regional basin organization, created on June 30th, 1978. It regroups The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. The High Commission of the organization is the executing agency of the integrated development programs of the four member countries for rational and harmonious exploitation of the common resources of Gambia, Kayanga-Geba and Koliba-Co rural river basin.]]>

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