Gambia: Over 1000 Health Centres, Schools to Get Renewable Energy - Barrow

1 December 2020

President Adama Barrow has stated that in the interest of all citizens, ample resources have been mobilised for the energy sector to light health facilities and schools.

"The funds will be duly invested to intensify and ensure the electrification of the whole country by 2025. My government has also secured funding to provide renewable energy in one thousand, one hundred (1100) health centres and schools across the country."

President Barrow was speaking over the weekend in Kiang Kwinella during the inauguration of the Kiang Electricity Expansion Project.

"Our National Electricity Programme is anchored to the Electricity Road Map developed in 2017, with support from our development partners. It is a comprehensive Road Map that outlines viable investment projects for both generation and transmission and distribution up to 2025."

"I am happy to disclose that for this purpose, we have mobilised over $200 million to achieve this lofty, but attainable goal."

The second phase of the project, President Barrow added, will cover additional communities in Kiang Central, Kiang West and Kiang East by early 2021.

"We are mindful of the need to develop all other sectors, because the national development process must take a multi-sectoral form. Thus, focus on the energy sector is matched by due attention and investment in all areas of development. In this way, we will achieve the much desired comprehensive and inclusive sustainable development of every part of our beloved nation."

He acknowledged that electricity is a means to attaining various development outcomes, if utilised maximally. "Government has a role in this process, but the beneficiaries of the supply also have an important role to play. I urge every citizen to make the most of all the opportunities that exist. Live comfortably, but also invest to improve your living conditions, and contribute your quota to national development. We will support all genuine investments and projects designed to serve the interest of the people."

Bubou Bah, the alkalo of Sibito in Kabada, said the four years of President Barrow government can't be compared with both former President Jawara's and Jammeh's governments, taken into account that it's through the Barrow government that Kiang got electricity after more than 50 years.

With the Barrow government, he said, they are optimistic that Kabada and the entire communities in the Lower River Region will get electricity. "However, for the past years, Kabada has been encountering some difficulties including access to road as most of the communities of Kabada are off the road and usually hit by water shortage."

Alkalo Bah appealed to President Barrow to help them with an ambulance, claiming that Sibito Health Post has been without an ambulance for the past three years. He added that the community uses horse-carts to transport patients including pregnant women to the nearby hospitals.

Chief Demba Sanyang of Kwinella thanked President Barrow for ensuring that Kiang also gets electricity, claiming that Kiang getting electricity is not a surprise to him as President Barrow "is a dynamic and development oriented leader who has the interest of the people at his heart."

"The first day Kiang got light, we recognised it in the boys because they were shouting at top of their voices that 'we now have electricity. It was a joyful day for them," he said, while disclosing that President Barrow has paid for all the meters in all the mosques in the three districts of Kiang.

Regional governor, Rohey John Manjang, said the people of LRR are behind President Barrow, saying: "If people are claiming that Kiang and Jarra are not behind President Barrow, I would even be surprised about such statements. The large turn-out of people is indication that LRR is behind Barrow."

She urged the people of LRR to be law abiding and be patient as more development will come to their door steps.

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