Power Outages or power cuts occur almost daily in one
part of the Gambia or another, though to a lesser extent
since 2007. Most hotels in Gambia as well as many businesses
but these arenít always reliable due to the high cost
of fuel to power them as well as intermittent breakdowns.
In addition, it often takes several minutes to turn
on after an outage.
If power is out for an extended period of time, some
save money by running the generator only between dusk
and midnight. Always plan ahead and never take for granted
that you'll have electricity when you need it.
Save often when using a computer, use a UPS and plan
on charging batteries for phones, computers, cameras,
etc. well before you need to use them. Try to get a
small re-chargeable lamp for your room as well as a
small torchlight. If possible get hold of a solar powered
mobile phone charger too.
Candles can be bought at any local shop for a
few dalasi. Holders are not needed essential as you
can simply melt the bottom and stick it to the nearest
fire resistant flat surface, Gambian style. Do be very
careful about possible fire hazards if you choose to
do this such as curtains.
Regular power cuts began in around 1977 and it followed
Sahelian droughts 1968-1974 which saw a significant
rural-urban drift of people from the villages and into
the towns. The population of these areas suddenly swelled
to breaking point and the demand for electricity and
water escalated. In trying to cope, the utilities corporation
suffered a series of serious mechanical break-downs
that has crippled the energy
sector ever since with frequent power cuts and load
shedding which lasted for the next 30 years.
Currently in the urban areas & hotel resorts of
Greater Banjul in the West Coast, power outages have
become more of an aberration rather than the norm. The
rural areas have yet to benefit fully from the Rural