PRESS RELEASE: USE OF DRONES TO SURVEY COMMUNITIES AS PART OF ECOREAP EFFORTS TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO ELECTRICITY IN RURAL AREAS
FONI, The Gambia, 20th April 2022 – The National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), hereby wishes to inform the public that in line with the Government’s Development Plan of providing universal access to electricity to the Gambian population by 2025, it has commenced surveying and infrastructural activities in this regard. One of such efforts is through the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Access Project (ECOREAP) implemented in The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Mali. The goal of this project is to provide access to electricity to rural communities. Communities in the Central River Region, North Bank Region, Lower River Region, and West Coast Region will benefit from this project.
Before commencing the infrastructural work needed to facilitate the electrification of these communities, surveying of the areas must be completed. NAWEC recruited a contractor named KEI Industries Ltd. to implement the project including the survey works. Due to the large number of communities needed to be surveyed, the contractor opted to use drones in order to efficiently and accurately survey the targeted areas. These drones were meant to contribute to the surveying efforts by providing information such as GPS coordinates and the landscape of the areas, to enable the team to plan and map out the infrastructural work needed to bring electricity to these villages.
We wish to reassure the public, especially communities in Foni where the drone surveying was recently conducted, that this activity was implemented in line with the goal of bringing electricity to remote parts of their communities. Additionally, we wish to dispel any myths and misconceptions surrounding the usage of these drones and want to assure the public that the drones were solely used as part of the efforts under ECOREAP to expand electricity access to rural communities.
We also solicit the kind support of the Governor of the West Coast Region, National Assembly Members, Alkalos, and Chiefs, in cooperating with the contractors to ensure smooth implementation of the project. At the finalization of the surveying in Foni, surveying of the remaining regions will commence. We wish to reassure the public once more that the use of drones is solely for the purpose of enabling effective planning of infrastructural work to provide access to electricity in rural communities.