4 December 2018

Gambia: Kudang - Farmers Want More Rights to Kill Hippos

As the public consultation of the Constitutional Review Commission gathers momentum in the Central River Region, the community of Kudang in the Naimina East District has said that the wildlife laws should be critically reviewed to allow farmers kill hippos that are on rampage on their rice fields.

CRC officials are currently touring the length and breadth of the country in order to engage Gambians as to what they want in the new constitution that's to be drafted. The CRC is tasked by the Constitutional Review Commission Act 2017 to review the 1997 Constitution and draft a new constitution and prepare a report about it.

As hippos continue to pose threat to rice production in the Naimina District especially around Kudang, farmers of the area suggested that the wildlife law should be critically looked into so that farmers can be empowered to kill them by reducing their menace.

The communities of the area like other regions also suggested that the grade 12 requirement for presidential candidates be removed and be replaced with university degree requirement.

They also suggested that there should be a panel who would be responsible for the appointment of the Chief Justice and that the Diaspora Gambians should also have the right to vote in our elections.

"Animal conservation laws should be critically looked into. The new constitution should empower the farmers to kill destructive animals. Farmers are abandoning their rice fields due to the rampage of the hippos," said one Sainey Kurang.

Yankuba Jobarteh suggested that local language should be introduced at the National Assembly so that those who cannot speak English would understand the debates during sessions.

He also suggested that one should have 40 years of age before contesting for presidential elections. He said term limit should be included in the new constitution.

The ward councilor of the area, Haruna Barry, said that the new constitution should empower regional governors and that chiefs should be elected as they are representing people.

"There should be a provision in the new constitution that will ensure that revenue collected in the region stays in order to enable rapid development within the region," he said.

He said the area councils should have 25% of the taxes collected from the region, while pointing out that the gifts given to the president in the name of the country should be disclosed to the lawmakers too.

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