It was a welcome development when the government commenced the construction of major and feeder roads as well as a central drainage system around the Greater Banjul Area. There was massive jubilation from all corners that the dreams of transforming the country into a modern nation state are a step closer to reality. There was also the belief that flooding and stagnant waters inundating the community, which was a characteristic of urban Gambia during the wet season, would become history. Sadly, around some of our roads, the drainage canals have been left uncovered especially from the Nawec head office towards Old Jeswang on the Mamadi Maniang Highway, thus making them hovels of accumulated rubbish and foul odour, as well as perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and bacteria.
What is even more worrisome is that these uncovered drainage canals have become death traps. In the rainy season, news of children falling into them and drowning is common and news of a vehicle losing control and felling into an uncovered drainage canal occasionally made the news. We are all aware that our street vendors always sit near these uncovered canals to sell, thereby using the open pit as a dumping ground. But, consider the fact that the accumulation of garbage in the cannel means they are homes for harmful bacteria. With the items, particularly foodstuff sold by the street vendors, at the mercy of the wind, how can the health of the people be guaranteed?
This state of the drainage canals is indeed frustrating considering the immense efforts of the leadership to achieve the highest for the country and the huge costs involved in the construction of the drainage systems. The responsible authority should therefore look into the issue and ensure that the drainage canals as envisaged by the president serve their intended purpose. Those responsible for managing the drainage system should also endeavour to put in place a good maintenance team to ensure that the canals are kept clean at all times and protected in a manner that would allow only water to pass through. This is fundamental because the importance of a drainage system in the development of a country cannot be overemphasised. After all, The Gambia is witnessing massive transformation and modernisation. This unprecedented development of the infrastructure network has made possible the free flow of people and goods throughout the country. Those who are therefore tasked to supervise and maintain the achievements registered for the common good must live up to expectation.