By Nyima Bah
The vice president Dr Isatou Touray on Friday presided over the official launch of a renewable energy project expected to produce wind power as source of electricity in The Gambia.
The project, dubbed Renewable Energy Potentials in The Gambia funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, was launched at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara conference centre.
The €2.7 million project spanning four years will be implemented by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research Science and Technology in partnership with the University of The Gambia.
Twenty-three communities across the country will benefit from the project which will make use of wind power as sources of electricity instead of using conventional fuel to generate electricity.
The project will also support capacity building for 210 Gambian youths on photovoltaic system installation, maintenance, and franchising.
Speaking at the event, the vice president said climate change is an unprecedented and growing threat to the economic growth of The Gambia.
“The Gambia contributes a very insignificant amount of CO2 emissions that cause climate change. Therefore, reducing the impacts of climate change through this project is a massive opportunity that we cannot afford to miss as a country.”
She disclosed that Gambia government is ready and willing to give full political support to the project and all other efforts that will be geared towards reducing impacts of climate change through mitigation as the project is a mitigation-centric.
“This inauguration will serve as a step in the right direction of implementing the Gambia’s Nationally- Determined Contribution (NDCs) agreed to at the 21st conference of parties (cop21) on the United Nations framework convention in Paris, France, 2015. “Communities and businesses in the Gambia have started taking a lead in reducing the impacts of climate change. They know that climate action is not only the right thing to do, it is also good for their businesses, their profit, and their livelihoods,” VP Touray stated.
Dr. Christoph Roevekamp from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and a member of the WASCAL executive, disclosed that valuable inputs have resulted in a feasibility study on the potentials of renewable energies in the Gambia.
“Through science, research and innovation in the field of renewable energies, we want to drive transformation towards a low carbon economy of the Gambia and benefit citizens of this country.”
In a statement read on his behalf by Dr. Yusupha Touray, Minister of Higher Education Badara Joof said the project will in no small amount increase the employability of our youths in this area of technology.
He said when the project ends in June 2025, the results of the CO2 saved and the level of improving the lives project intervention communities will inform BMBF and MOHERST on how to upscale the project to cover the whole country.