Gambia: Good Morning President - Plight of Rural People Must Be Addressed

27 September 2021
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Mr President, during your Meet the People's Tour - a constitutional requirement tour- that allows you to meet and listen to views of ordinary Gambians on issues affecting them, priorities areas should be identified for action.

Mr. President, we have been keenly following the tour through the newspapers, television and of course on social media. However, what has mainly been the centre of discussion in the rural Gambia is the lack of clean and potable water, poor road networks, and lack of gardens for women farmers among a host of others.

It's therefore important to let you know that access to safe, affordable and reliable drinking water is a basic human right. After more than four years of your government, one would have hoped that by now the issue of water shortage in some communities in the country should have been a thing of the past. Your government should have some years back assessed the needs of Gambians especially on the issue of water shortage with a view to addressing them. Addressing the issue of water shortage in the country should be a priority.

Mr. President, on the issues of the road network, your government is doing well in this aspect. However, more is needed especially around the Kiang area. No one needs to tell you that these are people that have been marginalised for the past 22 years of the Jammeh regime for the simple reason that they opposed his administration.

Mr. President, there are big settlements within the Kiang and Kabada areas. In the past decades, the previous governments have given little attention to improving the rural road network in the country. Therefore, we hope that your government would work closely with the local government councils in addressing these challenges for our local dwellers and also rehabilitate feeder roads and streets in the

Urban areas.

On the issue of fertiliser, it has been reported that your government has bought a lot of fertilisers for this year's rainy season. However, in some areas some farmers have complained that they didn't receive any fertiliser while others say the places where the fertilisers were sold were too far from their destinations, hence accessing them has become a challenge. We hope that this would also be addressed before the next rainy season.

Mr. President, as farmers across the country are expecting a bumper harvest especially on groundnuts, it's therefore significant that you work with your team in coming out with a good price for groundnuts ahead of the trade season.

Mr. President, on health, your government has made significant progress in the health sector by providing 80 ambulances, constructing six health centres and bringing 216 Cuban doctors including specialised ones for major diseases but Gambian health workers should be motivated and their allowances should be paid on time.

Mr. President, your government is facing serious challenges in the communication system. The internet service is poor and expensive compared to many countries in the subregion.

Gamcel should be rescued financially with its poor network which has resulted in many of their customers pulling out.

Both Gamtel and Gamcel need to be restructured to modernise their technical service and get partnership with foreign investors to save them from being out of business.

Finally Mr. President, in recent times, there were coups in Mali, Chad and Guinea Conakry and Sudan failed coup. To avoid coups, African leaders should respect the two-term limit. Had Alpha Conde respected the two-term limit, he would not Have been overthrown.

Both AU and ECOWAS parliaments should enact a law for heads of state to respect their constitution and stick to the two-term limit, so that after retirement, they will be entitled to all the privileges as a respected former statesman and get immunity.

If heads of state over stay and condone corruption and nepotism, coups will be rampant in Africa

Good Day!

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