28 January 2013

Gambia: Resort to Traditional Approaches to Settle Disputes - Minister Bayo Urges WCR Authorities

The minister of Regional Administration, Lands and Traditional Rulers has called on the authorities in the West Coast Region (WCR) to consider using traditional or other alternative methods to settle disputes within the region before such disputes get to the level of the Ministry.

Momodou Aki Bayo was speaking on Thursday at the WCR governor's office in Brikama as part of his ongoing nationwide tour of institutions under his purview. He was accompanied by a high-powered delegation, and was received by the governor of the region, Alhaji Lamin Sanneh, Tamba S. Kinteh, the chief executive officer of Brikama Area Council (BAC) and other regional authorities.

"Use traditional or other alternative approaches to settle disputes within the region,"Minister Bayo said, while also urging all regional authorities to ensure that all means of dispute resolutions are exhausted before forwarding their complaints to his office for action.

He called on the people of the region to continue to rally behind President Jammeh, citing the numerous developments achievments registered under his dynamic leadership. As the Local Government Elections approach, Minister Bayo implored on the public to vote wisely and in the interest of national development.

Speaking in Kassa Kunda, the chairman of the Village Development Committee (VDC), Modou Jawo, told the minister and delegation that the Pipe Borne Water Extension Project has provided the opportunity for the people of the village to have access to safe and clean drinking water, which he said has limited the rate of water wastage. He said the milling machine has also improved the economic wellbeing of women and further helped to generate revenue for the community, save time and energy on processing, as well as ensuring quality processing of grains.

Ebrima Sawaneh, a senior community development officer, said the multi-purpose centre in Kassa Kunda is primarily aimed at addressing youth unemployment, enhance income generation, eradicate poverty and promote economic empowerment of both women and youth. He revealed that the centre is today offering services like pottery, soap making, batik, tie and dye as well as food preservation and skills development.

Speaking earlier, Governor Sanneh thanked Minister Bayo and delegation for embarking on such a familiarisation tour. He described the tour as a perfect forum for dialogue with all relevant authorities in the country.

Alhagie Saikou Sanyang, permanent secretary No.1 at the Ministry of Regional Administration, Lands and Traditional Rulers, called on the regional and district authorities to cooperate with the Ministry in achieving its desired aspirations and goals. He also called on the authorities to take part in the national cleansing exercise, stressing that taking part in such exercises is a national duty.

He further urged communities in the region to ensure the timely settlement of their rates and taxes and other dues to the Council in order to continue enjoying the services being provided for them.

Other speakers at the meeting included Alhaji Demba Sanyang, the Paramount chief of The Gambia, Alhagie Dembo Keleng Bojang, the chief of Kombo Central and Kaddy Jatta, a member of the Interim Management Committee of BAC.

The minister and delegation were later led on a tour of two CDDP Pipe Borne Water Extension projects, a Milling Machine project in Kassa Kunda and a Multi-Purpose Centre in Abuko.

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