Rolling power and water cuts are fraying tempers in The Gambia. Electricity and water supply are like weather forecast, they could be party available.
The Gambia is in a NAWEC: Nationwide Water and Electricity Crisis. NAWEC is also the stated-owned power and water provider, the only in the nation of fewer than two million people.
NAWEC [National Water and Electricity Company] is unable to meet demand and in has a tortuous schedule of rolling blackouts across the country.
Some places go for days without electricity or water. The people may need survival tips. The economy is battling its worst electricity crisis, with NAWEC scrambling to keep the lights on in thousands of homes and businesses.
The power cuts have always been hurting the Gambian economy. Some factories and investors have given their back on the country because it does not have the capacity to meet their energy demand.
NAWEC, however, said the blackouts will not drag for long. Electricity supply will improve in six months and steady in two years.
NAWEC has maintenance backlog and a barrage of technical problems at its aging power stations. It can only produce 40 watts of the 150 watts needed to power the country.
Gambia has been suffering from rashes of blackouts since its birth. Little has changed after a barrage of promises by two previous governments, who often bought used generators instead of bringing new capacity and innovation.
There are increasingly loud calls from economists, business councils and some politicians for NAWEC to be privatized, or at least for independent companies to be allowed to end the monopoly.
NAWEC is not the only state-run firm in trouble. The social security, telecommunication, and mining corporations have been riddled with financial mismanagement, corruption, and theft.
The new government has blamed the mismanagements as the root cause of the electricity and water woes. Tariffs are high with NAWEC’s system dependant on petrol, which is expensive.
NAWEC’s problem—crumbling old power stations fueled by petrol is far from over. No one should expect new plants powered by natural gas, solar or wind turbines to be built.