Gambia: Good Morning Mr President - Land Destructions Is Too Much!

3 August 2020

Mr. President, as the Covid-19 continues to have a devastating impact on our beloved country, we want to wish all those infected with the virus especially the Vice President of The Gambia a speedy recovery.

As you have already gone into self-isolation Mr President, we suggest that all those working at State House to go for testing and for health officials to fumigate the State House to avoid further spread of the virus.

Mr. President, there should also be daily fumigation of public places as well as for the public to adhere to WHO recommended guidelines. Even though it is ongoing, there should be more and mass outreach on the pandemic especially in our local languages.

Authorities should monitor hospitals daily needs in terms of oxygen, equipment and medicines. As stated in the recent government press release, it's time for those who defy the new regulations be dealt with accordingly. Until then, people will continue to take the pandemic for granted thus infecting more and more people.

It is alleged that some security officers working at the border posts do take bribe from people who want to enter The Gambia. We therefore, call for an urgent investigation into the matter to ascertain whether the allegations are true or not. We also heard cases where workers are bribed when flights land to allow them go home and avoid to be quarantined in hotels. There should be measures in place to avoid these malpractices.

Mr President, issues surrounding land ownership especially in the kombos is a sensitive one. There has been and continue to be a strong public outcry about environmental destruction and rampant allocations of land in both the TDA and other parts within the kombos of recent times.

It is an undeniable fact that we've all seen the effects of these activities along the Bertil Harding Highway up to the airport junction and in other areas within the kombos.

Everywhere, the environment in these areas is either under destruction or for sale, while land grabbing continues to rise daily. Even the monkey park area is under threat by land grabbers posing danger to not only the environment but even the animal species.

Mr. President, the people are very much concerned and upset about these developments and it all hinges on your government's policy on land matters.

It is important for your government to pay particular attention to the sensitive nature involving land use.

Your government should also halt the speed with which land allocation is taking place and consider reserving land for future generations, for social amenities like new markets, playgrounds, taxi parks, theatre& culture centre, relocation of government offices, health centers/ hospitals, and decongestion of KMC by allocating vast land for the relocation in an organized manner of all mechanical/ electrical/ carpentry/ welding workshops and sales center for all car dealers.

Government should consider and to ensure proper physical development and environmental protection of Banjul and the kombos.

Mr President, land and environment are inextricably linked and the authorities should be tasked to address the problems with utmost urgency in the best interest of peace and security of the country.

Good day

Happy Eid Adha!

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