The National Assembly Select Committee on Agriculture and Environment, local authorities and other stakeholders last Thursday visited the Regional Project for Sustainable Management of Endemic Ruminant Livestock in West Africa (PROGEBE) implemented project sites in Kiang West. The team was led by Dr Famara Bulli Sanyang, the National Coordinator of PROGEBE - Gambia.
Among the project sites visited were the Sipobeh Vendors Association Mini Diary Project at Sankandi, Kiang West Livestock Market in Jataba, the water borehole project in Koli Kunda, Banjana and Brikamading, Kiang Jali well project for cattle and the Keneba slaughter house.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Observer shortly after the visit, Dr Sanyang explained that all the infrastruture in the sites in Kiang West were built by PROGEBE in April 2012 through funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB). He said the facilities were constructed mainly to empower the livestock owners withthe required skills and knowledge which will enable them to do their work efficiently.
He said it will also serve as an income generating avenue for some of the farmers, citing the Sipobeh Vendors Association project in Sankandi as a great help to the community in the daily production of Yorgut, cream and safe storage of milk produced by members of the association. He revealed that all the equipment meant for the project is already at the project site and will soon be fixed for operations to commence.
Nerry Corr, the PROGEBE site coordinator in Kiang West, said the boreholes constructed in Koli Kunda, Bajana and Brikamading will supply water to over 1,500 cattle and other small ruminants within the areas. He added that the borehole is meant for the cattle to have safe drinking water after grazing. Corr also revealed that apart from the seven boreholes constructed which cost the project D9million, PROGEBEalso constructedfive additional wells in Kiang West.
For his part, Yaya Dibba, the National Assembly member for Kiang West, thanked PROGEBE-Gambia for the developments in his area especially in the area of infrastructural development in the sites they operate. He called on the beneficiaries to properly keep the facilities and use them for the purposes for which they were built, saying the intervention of the project in Kiang West is a blessing for the people.
Alhaji Omar Gibba, the chief of Kiang West, assured the PROGEBE officials that the facilities will be maintained and put into good use. He also called on the beneficiary communities to work hard to sustain the facilities. He recalled that before the intervention of the project, milk vendors used to find it difficult to transport their milk to the Kombos. He added that now development has come to their doorsteps and everything will be easy for them.
Hon Netty Baldeh, National Assembly member for Tumana and chairman of the National Assembly Select Committee on Agriculture and Environment, also hailed PROGEBE-Gambia for the good work they are doing in the country.