Gambia: NAWEC's Transmitter Catches Fire

Scores of shops and other properties were burnt as an electrical transmitter belonging to the National Water and Electricity Company Ltd. (NAWEC) caught fire at Gunjur, Kombo North.

Three shops and a car were burnt as a result of the inferno which was through an electric spark at Gunjur beach at 12 p.m., Tuesday. The car was completely burnt to ashes.

Eyewitnesses told The Point that incident happened following a heavy spark on the transmitter stationed at the beach which gradually developed into a huge blaze damaging various properties of individuals including shops.

Karamo Yaffa, an eyewitness said the accident followed spates of sparks on the transmitter, which he said happened frequently. He said they had many times complained to the National Water and Electricity Company Ltd.

"It is just fortunate that there was no loss of life; this is because at the time the incident happened, people were not close to where it happened. But shops and other individual properties like cars and bicycles were all destroyed, which is very serious."

"I can tell you we have been complaining about this issue to NAWEC anytime the transmitter sparks but no action was ever taken," he added.

Abdoulie Nyang, one of the victims, said he nearly lost his entire shop to the blaze.

"I was in Serekunda when I received a call informing me of the fire incident caused by the NAWEC transmitter which was just beside my shop," he said.

He said he lost over D100,000 from the shop, adding some of his monies were looted by people who came to render a helping hand during the scene.

The public relations officer of NAWEC, Pierre Sylva, said the management was aware of the damages done to the people's properties, noting that the company has already engaged the victims of the inferno and has already quantified their burnt materials which he said, will be later paid by the management as way of compensation.

He added that the company's management has already started working on the process to restore another transformer at the area, saying that is possibly by next week.

"We have already engaged the victims and did quantify their burnt materials which later will be given compensation by the management," he said. "But let me make this clear that it is not a norm that compensations have to be made anytime NAWEC's materials cause damage. This is done out of good will."

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