The announcement that the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) has signed an agreement capable of generating thirty megawatts of electricity with a Turkish Company will be received with great joy in some quarters. The perennial problem of power outages has haunted the Gambian masses for long.
For the past twelve months, a lot has been said about the lack of electricity and water. In fact, the situation reached a crisis level when it became impossible to enjoy electricity for even six hours in a day. People complained a lot and efforts were made to redress the situation. But these were short-term measures.
The management of NAWEC promised the general public that everything will be all right by December. They promised that the situation will improve by December but will be stabilized in February of 2018. Well, we are in mid-February and it’s still the same, if not worse.
The energy sector is important as it has a connection with our economic development. A stable and constant electricity supply can attract investors who will bring their businesses here, thus employing Gambian youth, paying taxes to our government. This will contribute to our economy and hence improve our lives and livelihoods.
However, it has happened before that NAWEC will give promises only for things to remain the same. To be fair to NAWEC, in the past few months, the supply of electricity had seen a little improvement. But of recent, it has gone back to the way it was – on and off.
Thus, the announcement engenders hope in the citizenry but many receive it with a pinch of salt. Let’s not hold our breath!