- President Adama Barrow of the Gambia Has Inaugurated the Construction Of The Soma Substation in Jarra Soma, Lower River Region.
- The project forms part of the The OMVG Energy Project which aims to reinforce regional integration and cooperation by using and exploiting the shared hydroelectric resources in The Gambia, Kayanga-Geba and Koliba-Corubal river basins.
- The construction of the first OMVG hydro-electric power station, connecting communities from Jarra Soma, Lower River Region to Brikama, West Coast Region, will also take place this year.
President Adama Barrow has officially laid the foundation stone of the Gambia River Basin Development Organisation’s (OMVG) Energy Project’s Interconnection Component, which will house a substation in Jarra Soma, Lower River Region.
The OMVG is a sub-regional organisation that was co-founded by former Senegalese Poet-President Leopold Senghor, and Gambia’s first President Dawda K Jawara, in the 1970’s.The organisation consist of The Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal.
The OMVG Energy Project aims to reinforce regional integration and cooperation by using and exploiting the shared hydroelectric resources in The Gambia, Kayanga-Geba and Koliba-Corubal river basins.
According to President Barrow, the Jarra Soma substation is expected to increase the current 40% electricity access to 60%, when completed.
“As a short term measure for example, our national energy capacity has been expanded through maintenance and rehabilitation of existing engines, which has been augmented by procurement of new machines. The current Energy Purchase Agreement for Rural Gambia, complements these efforts,” Barrow said.
He noted that electricity is a major catalyst for national development, which the OMVG has recognised to enhance, and support the development of an appropriate energy sector in member countries.
“Thus in February 2017, the out-going chairperson Professor Alpha Conde on behalf of the Heads of States of the OMVG, launched a major Interconnection Project covering a transmission line of 1,677 km and 15 substations, at Kaleta in Guinea,” he said.
Of these substations, two would be in The Gambia, five in Guinea Conakry, four in Guinea-Bissau and four in Senegal. Out of the 1,677 km of transmission line, 183 km is accorded to Gambia, 575 in Guinea, 218 km in Guinea-Bissau and 701 km in Senegal.
“The Soma substation is designed to link the Eastern and Northern part of the Gambia through the NAWEC interconnection networks and stands to revitalize relations and strengthen regional solidarity,” the President stated.
The construction of the first OMVG hydro-electric power station, connecting communities from Jarra Soma, Lower River Region to Brikama, West Coast Region, will also be launched this year. Under the first phase of the electricity project, 70MW of energy would be distributed in The Gambia through two substations in Jarra Soma and Brikama.
Author: Babalwa Bungane
This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.