World Bank sanctions US$43million to strengthen access to energy and water in The Gambia
- July 7, 2020
- Posted by: Lyn Wilson
- Category: Corporate, Investment and Finance, Africa
The World Bank approved funding of US $43 million from the International Development Association (IDA) for The Gambia’s Electricity Restoration and Modernization Project (GERMP). The additional financing was made available through reallocation of IDA18 balance, thus augmenting the Bank’s initial funding envelope for The Gambia by 20 percent.
There are still many challenges to face in The Gambia regarding access to electricity and water. Approximately 50 percent of Gambian people have no opportunity to have access to electricity. In urban regions only about 69 percent of the citizens are provided with clean potable water.
The National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) has made significant improvements in its operational and financial performance in recent years but has yet to achieve financial viability and consequently , residents still have an erratic supply of water and electricity, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elene Imnadze, World Bank Resident Representative said:
“This support will build on the ongoing efforts of the government to strengthen the electricity and water sectors, and further boost the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic through communications and targeted investments including hand washing facilities in the Greater Banjul Area.”
The additional financing will further strengthen NAWEC’s transmission and distribution network, provide additional support to transform NAWEC into an efficient and credit-worthy utility, and expand the scope of the project to the water sector.
To be specific more than 1.6 million people will have gained or improved access to electricity; 17 km of transmission lines will be constructed or rehabilitated; 20 grid-connected photovoltaic system with storage will be installed; 20,000 water meters will be installed or replaced; and three water storage tanks will be repaired.
Task Team Leader and Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank Chris Trimble said:
“This additional grant comes at an important moment in the reform process underway. We have already seen significant improvements in NAWEC’s performance. Additional resources will help to solidify these gains.”