President Adama Barrow today paid a visit to the National Water & Electric
Corporation (NAWEC) main power station at Kotu. The visit followed periodic
updates that the President had been receiving from NAWEC management on
improvements to electricity supply across the nation.
President Barrow said: “I have been getting updates from NAWEC in my office
over the last several months. But as any Gambian living in our country
knows, our electricity situation has not been satisfactory. I wanted to
come to NAWEC’s main generation facility here in Kotu myself, and see what
is going on; to hear from staff on the ground, and get a better
understanding of the challenges that are keeping us from getting stable and
reliable electricity. It is important for the public to realise that I
share their concerns about electricity supply.”
NAWEC officials had briefed the President earlier on the state of its old
and obsolete generators, which were bought second hand close to 30 years
ago. Even at the time of purchase by the Gambian government, the President
learnt, these used machines had already been decommissioned from service
before being shipped to The Gambia.
President Barrow was informed that NAWEC was working on various projects to
boost generation capacity and alleviate the pain being felt by the Gambian
public in terms of electricity supply. The President was shown one of
the several new generators – a 6.5 megawatt capacity generator, which is in the
process of being installed at the Kotu power plant. It is expected to be
fully operational by the end of October. The company will also commission a
second new generator at Brikama a month later, and it should be operational
by the end of November.
NAWEC is also implementing a new 11 megawatt generation expansion project
at the Kotu Power Station, and this will be completed by the end of
December. Yet another new 8.9 megawatt generator will go into operation in
February 2018, after which, officials have assured the President that the
country’s current power problems will have been significantly overcome.
Asked what his impressions were after the visit, the President replied: “I
think my visit was timely. I know that there is a lot of concern out there.
People are talking and complaining about electricity. I want them to
understand that we are taking this seriously. It is important for us to
inform the public about what is being done, and how best we can solve the
Several ministers and a host of senior government officials accompanied the
President to the Kotu Power Plant for the site visit.