In the past year or two, the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) has woefully failed to provide us with a service which is even remotely close to being satisfactory. Electricity is erratic. As for water, in some areas, it comes once in a day; and very late in the night indeed. We struggle to have water to drink or cook, let alone taking bath and/or wash our clothes because the taps are almost always dry. In some areas, the situation is just so terrible that it is completely unacceptable for a country that celebrated its fifty-third Independence Anniversary a few days ago.

These shortcomings notwithstanding, we have heard – repeatedly I might add – that NAWEC has signed contracts to stabilize the electricity system. These contracts with the World Bank, and other countries are worth millions of dollars. The latest of these was with Turkey which was just a few weeks ago. Earlier, the situation had been so bad that some people wanted to stage a peaceful protest for which permit was denied by the police. Then the situation improved a little and we thought that perhaps the millions will be put to good use, so we will enjoy uninterrupted power supply.

From last week however, the predicament has taken a turn for the worse. The electricity has become so erratic that we can’t even have six hours of uninterrupted power supply. One may be tempted to ask, ‘Where are the millions we heard so much about? Is it incompetence or corruption?’ These are the questions people are asking themselves in the country currently.

As an afterthought, I just remembered the litany of promises made by NAWEC to Gambians. First, they said in November of 2017 it will be all right. When they failed that, they said December. It came and went, and they said February; well, now we are in March 2018! What does this say about their truthfulness to the citizenry?

The ordinary (wo)man cannot comprehend how is it that with all the millions of dollars we keep hearing about, the National Water and Electricity Company is unable to supply us water and electricity. With the Gambia being such a small country, and Senegal supplying rural Gambia, NAWEC has very little to cover and so many millions of dollars to do it if we are to believe in all the reports.

It is high time government put in place a commission perhaps (Janneh Commission type) to investigate the problem of the National Water and Electricity Company. In fact, it will make a good study to see why the company has been failing from Independence to date. First it was GUC, MSG and we still have little to show for our efforts and trouble.

So, Mr President, can you ask NAWEC for us?

Have a Good Day Mr President…

Tha Scribbler Bah

A Concerned Citizen


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