By: Fatou Kebbeh
Residents of Bakau are requesting that the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), which has recently announced the increment of water and electricity bills, step up in their provision of water and electricity in the town instead of increasing bills for that which they say is deficiently supplied.
This call comes just a couple of days after NAWEC announces they are increasing electricity and water bills by April 10th.
The increment is informed by the price hikes in the global market due to Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war, according to NAWEC’s MD Nani Juwara.
The residents are not in total opposition to the increment but say they can’t see the logic in increasing something that is barely available to them.
“I pay my bills every month and I don’t have enough water and electricity supply. Whether there is water or not, I have to pay and that is not done, because it is not okay to pay for what you did not use,” a Bakau resident, Famara Jatta told this medium.
According to Famara, there is only one borehole in his area and that is where everyone gets water, rendering the pressure always high.
Another resident Fatima Darboe said: “Right now, as I am speaking to you, there is no water and electricity, and this is a daily routine for the people of Bakau. When we have water in the morning, we don’t have it at night which is not okay.”
“Now that NAWEC wants to add on water and electricity bills, they should know that we are not against the increment, but they should help with the current situation faced by the people of Bakau first,” she added.
A student and resident of Bakau, Momodou Janneh, said the new tariff came at a bad time looking at the current situation of the people of Bakau.
“We don’t have water for a day or two. Women and children walk long distances to get water and it is sometimes not safe for them, especially at night,” Janneh said.
He believes NAWEC should have looked into the problems causing inadequate water and electricity supply to settle that first before coming up with a new tariff.
A restaurant at Bakau New Town, Awa’s Restaurant, which sells lunch to a good number of people daily, is one of those frustrated by the inadequate availability of water in the area.
A cook at the restaurant told The Fatu Network that they encounter delays sometimes when they must walk from their restaurant to the Independence Stadium to fetch water.
Mariama Jawara said: “A lot of offices in this area buy their lunch from this restaurant and when we have some delay due to water, that doesn’t always look good.”
“Sometimes even the toilets don’t have water and one can’t sit without going to the restroom. So NAWEC should really look into this issue,” she added.