28 January 2014

Gambia: Our Roads Need a Facelift


It is quite evident that The Gambia is witnessing massive transformation into modernity. Remarkable achievements have been registered in the various aspects of infrastructure particularly the road network. Very many important roads and highways are either constructed or being constructed.

This unprecedented development of the country's infrastructure network made it possible for free flow of people and goods throughout the country. It has promoted the smooth running of the economy as production centers are linked to markets, boosting communication among others. It is however unfortunate that despite this huge investment, the settlement arrangements on our major roads do not tally with the national development process. Those who ply the Kombo Sillah Drive for instance are aware of the eyesores along the way. The dilapidated buildings and the poor construction of residential houses have indeed prevented the modern image of the country from shining.

This ugly face is further tainted by the high influx of petty unorganised shops and indiscriminate littering on the roadside. We therefore wish to call on people to endeavour to give the major roads a facelift so that we can enjoy the modernsation package of the leadership. We are of course conscious of the fact that people have different economic capacities and as such not everyone can erect solid dwelling houses; it is however important that our major roads become avenues where storey buildings, trees and organised shopping centres dominate. Those who own plots along the roads should endeavour to build quality structures, support the planting of more trees and always keep the front elevation tidy. It should be understood that to transform The Gambia requires that our society evolves from traditional settings to become a modernised nation. This we cannot achieve if we do not change attitude and take ownership of our development process. We have to at all times realise that the driving force behind society's advancement anywhere is the people, as we are the key agents of change. This, by extension, makes us the primary agents of development. Therefore, whatever development policy and strategy is conceptualised, must be supported by the people for it to make the difference it aims to make. The citizenry should therefore play their part in putting such developments in the context of modernisation.

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