By: Kebba AF Touray
When contacted to shed light on the issue of erratic water and electricity supply, NAWEC’s PRO, Mr. Pierre Sylva, said they had issues for the past two to three days due to lack of capacities, citing that the KARPOWER Engine at Banjul is due for maintenance and it is already down since Monday and is expected to last for ten days.
As a result of this, he said they had some low voltage coming from Kotu Power station, which is why they did not have enough electricity to supply the people at some point, especially in areas that have been hard hit by overloaded transformers.
PRO Sylva said electricity keeps on going on and off and that any moment they try to increase the load, it goes off.
“We are able to mobilize to see how best we can come up with a solution in the absence of that engine which is in maintenance at the KARPOWER in Banjul. I believe, intermittently, we have resolved some of these problems. This is why some areas that have been hard hit during those past days now experience some sort of power coming back to them. This is something that worried us,” Sylva explained.
Commenting on water supply, the NAWEC PRO explained that availability of water depends on the availability of electricity, adding that it is the power that they use to evacuate water from their boreholes to the treatment plan and finally to the people.
“If you have issues with electricity, it will also affect water, because we may not be in that position to evacuate water from the borehole and treatment plant, especially boreholes that don’t have standby generators and it becomes a problem,” Mr Sylva said.
Speaking further, Sylva said they are not resting on their laurels, while noting that the country’s network infrastructure has to improve.
He added: “Some of the areas that have transformers that are overloaded, we are working to upgrade their capacities so that they can accommodate as many people as possible. We are doing everything humanly possible to make sure that we upgrade transmission and distribution infrastructure.”
He said this is where most of their problems lie with regard to the electricity, saying they have the capacity, KARPOWER, OMVG and that SENELEC is coming to aid the country through contract agreement.
“I think we have more than enough. But this would require evacuating electricity from the source to the general public, through the transmission and distribution infrastructure,” he added.
He noted that this is where they have some challenges and that the World Bank is working with NAWEC to ensure that funds are available to improve on the aforesaid issues they are grappling with.
Nawec had earlier stated in its facebook page that maintenance work would be conducted on one of the Karpower engines as from Monday 16th May and that this would take ten days. During this period power supply would go down.