Gambia: NAWEC, ECREEE Launch Joint Electricity Loss Reduction Project in WCR

Officials of the National Water and Electricity Company and the Ecowas Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, on Thursday launched in Brikama Nyambai, the first phase of energy loss reduction project as part of efforts to enhance the supply of electricity in the country.

The project seeks to expand and improve electricityconsumption in Nyambai forbetter service delivery. The proposal to establish ECREEE is a necessary regional response to the specific needs of ECOWAS Member States as expressed in national and regional policies. It is also responding to international energy and climate policy decisions.The total cost of the project is63, 399.7 Euros,of which NAWEC contributed D38, 399.7 and ECREEE 25,000 Euros respectively.

"It is acknowledged that without major investments in sustainable energy infrastructure and policy frameworks in West Africa, the regional energy access, energy security and climate objectives cannot be achieved," the governor of West Coast Region underscored during the ceremony.

Sanneh observed that renewable energy and energy efficiency can play a key role in the provision of electricity supply needs. He expressed hope that the project would address the technical losses in electricity and improve the livelihoods of the beneficiaries. "Once people begin to enjoy electricity, their livelihood standards are improved," he opined.

The managing director of NAWEC, Ebrima Sanyang, revealed that ECREEE was established by ECOWAS to be the main driver for energy in the region. He informed that Brikama was recommended to be the beneficiary of the first phase of the project due to the fact that it is the fastest growing metropolis in The Gambia.

He further explained that Nyambai was chosen on the basis that the area has a low energy supply coupled with low standard poles. This, he said hasled to some serious losses to them."Nyambai will from today benefit from over 150 low voltage distributions," he informed, adding: "Going into the future, this country could be blessed to also produce energy resources that can be exported."

The ECREEE focal person at the Ministry of Energy, Modou Manneh, said the project is expected to create a favourable energy supply, pointing outthat NAWEC's strength to win any other project from them will be determined by the successful implementation of this first project.

The chief of Kombo Central, Dembo Keleng Bojang and Omar Touray, who spoke at the occasion, both welcomed the project. They agreed that with sufficient electricity supply,livelihood and development in general will be guaranteed.

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