Saturday, May 15

Lack of electricity triggers longstanding depression at Touba Manduwar  

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The over 40-year-old settlement with approximately D4000 households and over 300,000 homes never had electricity despite its proximity to Brikama, WCR’s headquarters.

The Point can confirm that the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC) had installed electrical poles in some parts of the settlement yet there is neither electricity nor sufficient water.

Speaking to The Point at Touba Manduwar on Saturday, Sheikh Ebrima Mbye, a tailor, expressed frustration over the lack of electricity in the settlement. He said the lack of electricity has severely affected his work, justifying that he has sewing machines that can only be operated with electricity but he is not using them due to unavailable energy.

“The settlement has many tailors but all of us are working with simple sewing machines due to lack of electricity. It is not easy to work with such sewing machines,” he complained. 

He said NAWEC has installed electrical poles in the settlement but no electricity is provided. Therefore, he added there is a need for government to provide them with electricity and sufficient water to improve their living condition.

Many residents of Touba Manduwar are doing tailoring at Brikama – the administrative town of the WCR, owing to the unavailability of electricity at the village.

Taip Secka, another resident of Touba Manduwar also expressed unhappiness over this horrendous situation and said some people have to travel to Brikama to get their mobile phones charged due to lack of electricity at the village. 

He argued that the residents are paying tax yearly but the government never brings any form of development to their doorsteps since the establishment of the village. This, he described as total marginalisation. 

“Any kind of development seen in the village is made by the residents but the government has not done anything for us,” he further argued, while calling on timely government intervention.

Tijan Loum, Touba Manduwar youth leader, described the lack of electricity and insufficient water supply in the village as marginalisation and unfair to them.

Loum, a former National Assembly candidate, said he has been appealing to government and development partners to provide them water supply in the community but he gets no positive response.

“We are paying taxes so, let government plow it back to us as electricity and water supply. This is not a matter of begging but let them (authorities) do what they supposed to do,” he squabbled.  

Omar Rafin Jallow, a shopkeeper, said he obviously needs electricity to cool his soft drinks in a refrigerator before selling them. However, he added that he couldn’t do so due to the unavailability of electricity.

For his part, Pierre Sylva, spokesperson for NAWEC said: “This is a project and anytime we are ready, they will be energised; that is the only plan. If it is not completed we cannot give it to Manduwar alone.” 

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