President Adama Barrow, on Saturday, 6th May launched a 30KV power line covering LaminKoto to Diabugu-Batapa.
Delivering a statement at the inaugural ceremony, Barrow recollected that it is less than two years when the foundation stone of the electricity project, which comes to facilitate socio-economic development in the province, was laid.
He described the project as a well-deserved he said.
According to the President, the energy project for the people of the Central River and Upper River Regions has been implemented to expand electricity access to forty-six (46) communities that run from Lamin Koto to Diabugu Batapa in the districts of Sami and Sandu within the two furthest regions of the country.
As disclosed earlier, it is an eight-million US Dollar (US$ 8 million) medium voltage 30 KV line network initiative that is fully loaded with distribution facilities. The package includes electricity connection metres provided at a cost of one thousand Dalasi (D1,000. 00) for two thousand, five hundred and twenty (2,520) beneficiaries. Among them will be household, institutional, and commercial end-users or customers.
“It is safe to state confidently that this is a major project that has come to transform the beneficiary communities and will significantly improve the lives and livelihoods of the people who live in those communities,” he said.
He said aside from providing regular electricity supply for the communities, the facilities will create various opportunities for the people; for example, it will enable the residents of the settlements to process and add value to their agricultural produce, facilitate access to quality social services, and enhance better living conditions.
The project, according to him, is a component of The Gambia Electricity Restoration and Modernisation Project, which will contribute remarkably towards the achievement of the national universal electrification programme.
“While other electricity access projects are being implemented speedily to close the universal electricity access gap, we remain strongly committed to achieving the noble 2025 target of electricity access for all. The provision of adequate, reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy service is a requirement for the development of any modern economy,” he noted.
“As a result, for us to transform and modernise every part of The Gambia, especially the rural communities, access to adequate and regular energy supply is a must. Accordingly, to fulfil the development aspirations of the country, my government will accelerate the implementation of the various electricity projects in progress across the country.
President Barrow said that as an aspect of their key infrastructural development programme, this energy project is to serve as an enabler for various activities, which include production ventures that lead to income generation and improvement of the people’s social and economic wellbeing.
“Alongside infrastructural development endeavours, unity, understanding, and love for the country are also essential and strong values and enablers of rapid development. They foster cooperation, tolerance, and joint undertakings for the common good.
“With our shared noble values of good citizenship in my mind, I entreat you to note that this vital project can serve you for decades; therefore, it is necessary that you protect the facilities as national assets and use them responsibly. As Gambian citizens, it is our collective responsibility to look after public property so that our national resources are not wasted to allow for investments in other areas of development. In this way, we will develop the nation at a much faster pace,” he said.
In conclusion, President Barrow commended the World Bank, the European Union and the European Investment Bank for providing the funds to implement the project and also thanked the contractor and consultant for delivering the project on time.