Basse — The community of Sare Wallom in the Jimara District of the Upper River Region (URR) Monday officially inaugurated a new banana plantation worth D3.2M. The project was sponsored by the Foundation Montferland Sare Wallom, a charitable organisation based in the Netherlands.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Gerard Wolbrink, the chief executive officer of Montferland in the Netherlands, commended the people in the area for the warm welcome accorded to his delegation. He also thanked the manager of the Foundation in The Gambia, also the man behind the project, for his foresight in ensuring that the project is a success in the country.
Wolbrink explained that the project started in 2008 with the aim of complementing government's efforts.He said the project has not only concentrated on the plantation, but has also strengthened support in the village and the school in general, as boreholes have been provided to the school and the village; with a solar bakery also installed in the community garden which the people in the area can benefit from.
He also urged the community to support the manager to ensure that the aims of the project are achieved.
For his part, Yerro M.S Baldeh, the project manager of the Foundation Montferland Sare Wallom in The Gambia, spoke at length on the importance of the project to the community. He commended his friends, the donors, for their humanitarian assistance. He said the project aims among other things to reduce poverty in the area by engaging the community in agriculture production, and also complementing government efforts in achieving quality education in the area, as the project has sponsored a lot of students in the district.
Baldeh revealed that last year the women of the area generated the sum of D38, 000 from the sale of their onions. He also intimated that there are plans in the pipeline to build a pharmacy in the area. "What we are doing is just to support the government of The Gambia to attain the desired goals of this country. We are young people in this country and we all have a role to play in nation building," Baldeh further stated, while urging the donors to also strengthen their benevolent gesture to other surrounding villages.
He thanked the Ministries of Agriculture, Forestry and the Environment, for their support to the project, informing the gathering that the Agriculture Ministry gave them 12 bags of fertilizer, while the Forestry Ministry also gave them 300 plants.
Hon. Mama Kandeh,former National Assembly member for Jimara Constituency, underscored the importance of the project and hailed the donors for bringing it to his area.