29.2 C
City of Banjul
Saturday, September 23, 2023


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With Aisha Jallow

I have found a new meaning to the words that are used as an abbreviation as Nawec:

Not Anything Was Elaborated Continuously.

People are paying a high price for a service that is completely unreliable.

Bank ques are building up, hotel bills can’t be paid, all kinds of electrical devices get damaged and age too fast, cold and frozen food gets wasted. These are only a few of the services we use every day. A society that doesn’t have a sufficient energy supply is very vulnerable. We depend on the electricity and it is impossible to imagine a modern-day society without all our gadgets that are run by electricity.

Some time ago I wrote an essay called: “Nothing has changed”. I told about my naive hope that The Gambia had evolved somehow since my stay there in 2022, but it seems as nothing has changed for the better. There might be some minor details that have improved, but looking at the whole picture the answer is a big and fat NO. Instead, it feels like the living conditions for most people have just become worse. Even I, as coming from Sweden and having a good salary, am complaining about the cost of everything. The cost of food is crazy, the same with the fuel for the vehicles. Buying cash power is a story of its own, and the amount you buy for doesn’t last long.

The cost of the electricity has increased with between 35-40 percent in just some months.

That is robbery! I really can’t express that in any other way. During my stay in The Gambia, I have been the one who paid for the cash power where I lived with my family. 1000 dalasi didn’t last long and still we tried to use the electricity with care. During this time of year, it is very hot and humid in The Gambia and it is tough to try to manage without an electrical fan. Most houses don’t have A/C, it is too costly to install and use that everywhere even if you wanted to. I was happy enough to be able to buy a re-chargeable fan for my bedroom so that worked even when the power was cut. The power cuts didn’t harm my fan, as it was built to cope with it, but most electrical devices are not.

Constant power cuts cost the society a lot of money and as long as we can’t rely on Nawec to provide the country un-interrupted power supply, there is no chance for The Gambia to develop in any area.

We don’t have industries that could produce anything because they must be able to rely on the electricity. It is also impossible to find investors that are prepared to pump in money in a country where we have corruption on every level you can think of. Everyone wants their piece of the cake, and if you begin to hand out a little here and some more there you will find yourself with empty pockets. It seems like the spirit of The Gambia is about who can fool someone else in the best way and hopefully getting away with it. Those who are rich will become richer as they have the know-how and the right connections. All the others, the poor and the suffering people, live in a sense of Mashallah and hardly question their own role in the society.

It is easy to rule a Mashallah society, you just have to be so convinced of your own importance that you are able to blind everyone else. Mashallah people don’t have the strength or the ability or even the will-power to change anything. It is easier to shrug your shoulders and say that anything that happens is God’s will. This is not how God created us, he is telling us to use our minds and not being lazy. As long as the sense of Mashallah is over-powering a country like The Gambia, there will be no change for the better. If you don’t do anything to change your life for the better, then don’t complain! Sounds harsh, but you have a responsibility so take it!

Nawec is a State-owned company, and should therefore be a State controlled company. As we all know, the State doesn’t seem to control a lot so that is why Nawec gets away with its incompetence. The reason for the increased cost of 35-40 percent of our power supply is a boohoo story that the company was near bankruptcy and needed the money. Boohoo, most people in The Gambia are more or less bankrupt already, but who’s b***s are they going to squeeze to get some more money? Should we feel sad for this shitty company with its shitty joke of a service and say that it is okay, just increase the cost, it’s okay, we understand?

There has been an assessment of the company and the one who was responsible for that didn’t know where to start in his report. The way this business is run is so bad that the words to describe it was no-where to be found.

As the State owns Nawec, the leadership of the company scratch each other’s backs and expect the same treatment back. They will not question one another, because if you begin to pull someone’s rug you will certainly fall yourself. No-one is innocent so therefore all of them are mute. As long as there is no-one from the outside that is in control over the company, this nepotism is allowed to be the rule of today.

So how about my interpretation of the abbreviation Nawec? Not Anything Was Elaborated Continuously means that there is no on-going process where the leadership of the company is looking into all parts of it and tries to fix all the faults. Nawec is supposed to provide a service for the whole country, but that information doesn’t seem to have reached the guys at the top.

The problem with being positioned at the top of a company, or even a State, is that the distance between those at the top and those at the bottom is too far. The thing is though that it is the people at the bottom who are the foundation. As long as the foundation is steady, the top will remain steady too, but that can change. As long as we allow any kind of leadership to have the shape of a triangle, there will always be a matter of them and us. There will be no togetherness, where we have certain roles and with those certain responsibilities. The leaders are supposed to make sure that a company, or a State, is managed in the best way possible, and our role is to pay for the service with our tax money and/or fees. We are depending on each other, but that is a fact our Leaders are blind to.

Nawec must not be a State-owned company anymore because all of us knows that the State hasn’t been able to run it professionally. This must be changed as soon as possible, let a private company own 49 percent of the company, and the State the rest. The private company will make sure that Nawec will be able to offer electricity to the whole country. If we want a change for the better in The Gambia, we must fight for it. Skip the Mashallah and instead allow Allah to inspire you in your aspiration to improve the lives of us all.

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