NAWEC Water Problems Is Now Going to Two weeks, which now fit the Definition of Water Supply Terrorism.
The water supply situation in the country is getting from bad to worse as the current management of NAWEC have broken all the promises made since the advent of the new government in 2017. We were promised then of uninterruptible water and power supply by 2018. Now that we are now in 2019, the supply of water and electricity is painfully erratic. Not a single drop of water can be fetched from the dry water taps in Banjul, Bakau, Serekunda, Brikama and the other parts of the country connected to the NAWEC grid.
Waking up every morning seeing young kids and the elderly queuing for water in compounds of individual businesses, NGOs and private residence of neighborhood philanthropists who can afford the costly bore holes in their premises as an alternative water supply system, is a constant reminder of the devastating effect of unwittingly putting the wrong people to head our public service delivery systems based on party affiliation, tribalism and nepotism.
NAWEC can no longer get away with flimsy excuses to cover for their managerial inefficiencies, lack of adequate planning system to anticipate any surges in demand for its services and to curb the growing unnecessary spending on loans to staff as well as the growing frequent settlement of huge bills to cozy suppliers. The persistent water shortage coupled with the frequent outages have now become a national embarrassment. Water and electricity are the engines necessary to spark development. Therefore, doing business in the Gambia now is made worse by the persistent power failures and acute water shortage which was not the case during the time of Yaya Jammeh who was brave enough to fire any cabinet minister or head of public institution who failed to deliver the goods.
The government of Adama Barrow must be ready to make bold decision bringing in new competent people to steer the affairs of our utility companies or better still to divorce the water division from NAWEC and sell it to private companies as it is case with SDE in Senegal. This way the long perennial problems of NAWEC could be fixed and its much-acclaimed Electricity Road Map as spelt out in the National Development Plan be achieved. The sight of little girls and boys including women roaming around the streets with empty 20-litrs plastic containers in search of water could soon be a thing of the past with a new management team. NAWEC belongs to all of us, but its current water problems are music to the water-bottling companies whose sales have quadrupled since the water crisis started months ago as well as the profits accruing to those firms in the business of building bore holes at exorbitant prices, thanks to NAWEC. Is there any link in this business puzzle?
Failure to provide regular water supply to Gambians without any realistic causes to justify the continued drying up of our taps tantamount to what can best be described as water supply terrorism- creating shortages to a water supply system to intentionally cause damage or to fight a political cause. The water problem is not only affecting out homes, but the taps and reserve tanks of schools, clinics, hospitals, mosques and churches are also drying up. We need enough water supply delivered at sufficient pressure and not in drips during the early hours in the mornings. Please save us from the spineless press conferences and radio shows. A thirsty man is an angry man!
Editors note: The views expressed by the author do not represent the position of the Freedom Newspaper. Thanks for your attention.