Inhabitants of the five Foni Districts have urged the government through President Adama Barrow to help them with good roads, electricity, gardens and skills centre among others during the latter's 'Meet the People' tour.
The lack of such amenities coupled with few others, they said remain the top challenges they have been encountering for the past years.
Speaking at a meeting held at Mayork, Lamin Hydara a native, said: "Poor road network and electricity is among the problems they encounter. The roads in Bwiam and the surrounding settlements are in bad condition. We want the president to help and construct the roads starting from Bwiam to the riverside," he said, while claiming that water shortage is also among other issues affecting some villages in their district.
The youths of the area, he added, also want the government to help them with a skills center to reduce unemployment. He added that women of the area also want vegetable gardens, while assuring the president of their continued support in ensuring that he is re-elected in the forthcoming presidential election.
"We have about 60 villages in Foni Jarrol, but only three villages in the entire district have electricity. The roads in the district are also not good. In fact, there are certain villages in the district where vehicles can't go. Again, the ambulance at Foni Jarrol Health Centre is not working and there is no mobility for the police at Kalagi," he stated, urging the president to help them complete the market they're constructing at Kampasi.
Lang Tombong Tamba, former Chief of Defence Staff of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) urged the people of Foni to rally behind President Barrow and his National People's Party (NPP) with a view to ensuring rapid development in the entire Foni.
Ex-CDS Tamba urged the people of Foni to remain united and distance themselves from people whose intention is to bring disunity among them. "Don't listen to Baitulai who is misleading you and he is just insulting our elders every day. If former president Yahya Jammeh is against the APRC/NPP alliance, he (Jammeh) would have spoken against it earlier on. We have seen Essa Mbye Faal former TRRC lead counsel declaring his intention to contest in the December 4th election even before the Commission finishes its work because he already knows what they are going to write. Don't listen to them."
The National Assembly Member for Foni Bondali, Kaddy Camara, claimed that only two villages in her entire district that got electricity, while urging the government to help them and construct the Brummag road, adding that most of the farmers in the area find it difficult to bring their products to the main highway due to the condition of the road.
After carefully listening to the demands of the Foni people, President Barrow assured them that his government will construct about 1200km across the country and that Foni would be part of the beneficiaries, while maintaining that the issue of electricity would be addressed before 2023.
"The people of Foni are Gambians and that they will surely benefit from the government development initiative. As a government, we are not looking at tribes or regions. The development of the country is our priority," he posited, while indicating that most of the villages in Foni would have tractors and rice processing machines.
Opening of Tampoto Health Post
The President also inaugurated the Tampoto Health Post in Foni Bintang District which was constructed with support from UNICEF and funded by GAVI-The Vaccine Alliance.
"The health post is the only health centre in the district. The health post will be open 24 hours and nurses will be stationed on the ground. The health post is the only government facility in the district; hence it is a big achievement for the government and its partners. The health post would be a game changer for inhabitants of the area," health Minister Samateh stated.
The president also provided a community ambulance for the health post.