Gambians are demurring the water crisis that has left them without clean drinking water and continuous cut of supply for days.
Amateur videos surfaced online showing contaminated water being fetched from the taps by some in the Greater Banjul area. Water looking dark and sort of mixed with sand gushed out of the faucet.
The state-owned National Water and Electricity Company, NAWEC, denied the waters were contaminated and blamed busted underground pipes for the crisis.
“The issue is that there is burst and a lot of sand gets into the pipe. But before we start running the system, we flushed it out but inevitably, we do have few of the sand passing through the system and getting into people’s home,” said John Camara, Director of Water and Sewage Services.
NAWEC admits it lacks the capacity to supply constant water and electricity across the country. The country is near bankruptcy after the former regime left it with debts.
Government agencies and companies owned by the former President Jammeh were not paying their bills. The company is owed hundreds of million in past due bills.
Economists and some politicians are supporting the privatization of NAWEC and called for an end to the monopolization of power and water supply to meet demand.
NAWEC said it will meet demand in two years and will regularize supply in six months. The company is facing a barrage of criticism and could be one of the new President Adama Barrow’s toughest challenges.