By Makutu Manneh.
Fourteen communities in Kiang and sixty-three in West Coast Region have been electrified by the Government.
President Adama Barrow on Saturday 28th November 2020 presided over the inauguration of this project in Kwinella in Kiang West.
The project commenced in 2017 and cost the government over 22 million United States Dollars.
The contractor for the project is KEI from India and the consultant is VOYANT Solution also from the same country.
President Barrow said the project will radically improve the livelihoods of the people of Kiang and contribute to the rapid realization of the sustainable development goals.
“I hope that the residents of Kiang and other beneficiaries of this project will seize the opportunity to engage in entrepreneurial activities to improve their lives and their communities”, he said.
This project covered only Kiang Central. The president informed the residents of the area that in early 2021, the second phase of the project will cover additional communities in Kiang Central, Kiang West and Kiang East.
The president urged every citizen to make good use of the opportunities that is brought to them and to invest so that they could improve their living condition.
He also urged the people to contribute their quota to national development as they will support all genuine investments and projects designed to serve the interest of the people.
He said he will continue to reach out to all marginalized and disadvantaged communities as they progress with their development endeavour.
He said there cannot be any meaningful development in a nation without the required volume of energy to support its national projects and programmes, business enterprises, industry and production machinery.
“The project is part of activities that shows that my government rejects discrimination and that is a government for all Gambians”, he said.
Nani Juwara Managing Director of NAWEC said the people of Kiang will now enjoy electricity supply like those in the Greater Banjul area.
He said the project is part of projects NAWEC is implementing through funding from the Gambia Government and donor partners to provide at least 85% coverage on electricity accessibility.
“Electricity impact positively on the lives and livelihood of the people and it us our hope that the people of Kiang and other beneficiary communities in the West Coast Region will take full advantage of the opportunity accorded to them”, he said.
He said access to electricity in the Gambia is going forward and that communities without electricity will soon be served.
Shiv Kumar the project manager and Ram Mohan Councillor of India to the Gambia both said they will work with the government to bring more development in the Gambia in the area of electricity and other sectors.
The Alikalo of Kwinella said they have been yearning for electricity in their communities for the past 50 years and they are now elated to enjoy the service like everyone.
He thanked the Barrow administration for bringing electricity to their communities, but was quick to tell the head of state and his delegation to bring more development projects for them.
“We don’t have good roads in our communities and water is also a problem for us”, he said.
Many other speakers from other communities in Kiang called on the head of state to provide them with good roads, water and ambulances for their health facilities. They also urged the president and NAWEC to extend the electricity project to other parts of Kiang.
During the inauguration of the project, different cultural groups performed at the ceremony and the people of Kiang dubbed the project operation ‘lampomala’.