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NAWEC’s New Chief Aims To Rectify 90% Of Gambia’s Power Issues Within Two Years

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Galo Saidy, Managing Director, NAWEC

By Buba Gagigo 

Gallo Saidy, the newly appointed Managing Director of the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), has set ambitious targets to address Gambia’s electricity challenges within the next two years. 

Speaking at a press conference facilitated by the Ministry of Information on Friday, Saidy outlined his vision to resolve up to 90% of the country’s power and water supply issues during this timeframe.

Acknowledging the public’s frustrations with frequent power outages and water shortages, Saidy emphasized ongoing projects aimed at bolstering both water and electricity infrastructure. Despite acknowledging the scale of the task ahead, he stressed a commitment to substantial improvements, aiming to alleviate the majority of these issues by enhancing operational efficiency and infrastructure reliability.

“I know NAWEC is not very famous right now because of all the issues that are happening. We are having power outages. We have water shortages, but that doesn’t mean that there are no plans in place to try to solve those problems. So there are a lot of projects right now on the ground happening both on the water and on the electricity side. So my expectations are within the next two years, these problems of frequent outages of power and intermittent supply of water will not be 100% resolved, but I would say up to 80, 90% resolved,” he said during a press conference.

NAWEC, according to Saidy, plays a pivotal role in the Gambian economy, underscoring that its performance directly impacts national economic stability. He highlighted the institution’s significance, noting that its success is intertwined with the country’s overall prosperity.

“NAWEC is the institution that is the backbone of this country’s economy. So if NAWEC is doing well, this economy is going to do well. If NAWEC is not doing well, this economy is not going to do well. So that is the reality of it. And it’s one of the biggest institutions in this country under the government. Now I have been entrusted to come and lead NAWEC. It is a big responsibility and a big load on my shoulders. And I’m aware of the challenges that NAWEC has, and it’s not an easy journey. It’s gonna get worse before it gets better,” he said.

Addressing the challenges posed by rapid national development and subsequent heightened demand for utilities, Saidy underscored the strain on NAWEC’s aging infrastructure, exacerbated by historical underinvestment. Despite these hurdles, he remained optimistic about the future, affirming a commitment to achieving sustainable and reliable electricity and water services that meet Gambian citizens’ needs.

“Just remember, this country is growing very fast. If you look at maybe three, four or five years ago, where the Gambia was before and today, you can see the development is increasing. So a lot of development on all these roads, and you can see people are building, which is creating a lot of demand on the network. So, NAWEC’s infrastructure, historically, is very old. And there hasn’t been a lot of investment in the system for many, many, many years. So that is a reality. So if you have all this growth that is coming on and the expectations are high, you have to meet the demand 100%. It’s not a reality that you can meet. That’s a fact, but, however, can we do better? The answer is yes. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? The answer is yes. Can this Gambia electricity and water supply system be sustainable in a way that it satisfies the Gambian populace? The answer is yes; we can do it,” he said.

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