By Momodou Jarju
President Barrow on Saturday February 16th 2019, presided over the launching of a 35.5 million US dollars (1.8 billion dalasi) project to rehabilitate Banjul. The event which took place at the Banjul Mini Stadium, is part of a week-long activity lined up for the celebration of the 54th Independence anniversary of The Gambia, by the Barrow-led Government.
According to the President, “the project components comprise roads, sewage and the drainage system of the City, and implementation will commence this year 2019.”
The major construction project is considered by Barrow as a fulfillment of his promise made during his tour of Banjul, and is meant to rehabilitate 37 km of a network of roads, drainages and the sewage system in Banjul.
Banjul which is prone to flooding during the raining season, has longed for such a project which is expected to be implemented during five a year period.
The contract is awarded to Gai Enterprises and is approved by cabinet in January 2019. The National Roads Authority and the National Water and Electricity Company, will supervise the work.
Barrow believes other public and private institutions and businesses operating in the City, will contribute their quota by working with the Banjul City Council, to fulfil their social cooperate responsibilities. He opined that the project will encourage more investment in infrastructure development, thereby creating more employment for Gambians and improving their incomes, which will eventually contribute to poverty reduction.
Speaking in Wolof after delivering a written statement, President Barrow informed the gathering that only dialogue can take the country forward. He pleaded to Gambians to join hands and unite to move the nation forward. “But the quarrelling, insulting one another, saying foul words at each other, has no use. It would not take the country anywhere. My Government is ready to work for the Gambia and we have told you that 2019 is the turning point. But if it is going to be a turning point, it should not be done elsewhere. It should be done in Banjul,” he said.
According to the President, whoever serves as a leader, there would come a day when his or her reign would end and the payment would be what he or she has worked done for the people, at the end of the day.
Barrow said Banjul is part of the building process of the country and implored on them to take a lead role in the process; that he cannot pay the people of Banjul, saying no sitting president in history, had lost elections in the capital city except for the first time, when he defeated Jammeh in December 2016.
The President said it is because of their votes which contributed to his historic victory; that this is why he is able to work to develop the City; that thus, he wants Banjul to see themselves in the change they took part in, and the launch of the project is a clear indication of this.
The Mayor of Banjul Rohey Malick Lowe, urged all ‘Banjulians’ to take pride of the project; that her people fully support Barrow’s National Development Plan and would strive for its success.