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New Jeshwang women horticulturists face dilemma over land issue

Aja Isatou Gassama, a gardener at Jeshwang women garden
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Aja Isatou Gassama, a gardener at Jeshwang women garden

By Arfang M.S. Camara

Women horticulturists in New Jeshwang have been confronted with a dilemma after a man claimed ownership of the land on which they grow their vegetables.

According to the women, different people who they couldn’t identify threatened to bulldoze all the vegetable in the garden for construction purposes. Since then the women have been worried and frustrated about their very green vegetable.

Aja Isatou Gassama who has been working in the garden for over twenty years earns her living from gardening.

“This garden is where I was able to send my children to school and also earn something for my family,” she said.

She told Kerr Fatou that no evacuation notice has been served to her and other gardeners. She said the garden belong to the women gardeners, adding that they have no plan to vacate.

She called on the government to intervene and settle the matter because the garden is where they earn their leaving.

After the intervention of the area Ward Development Committee together with the Kanifing Municipal Council authorities, the group claiming ownership of the land are identified as people with close ties to closed the government.

According to the Jeshwang Ward authority, the Minister of Local Government and Lands have admitted to giving authority to the claimants. However, the minister has reportedly asked for a halt on the planned construction until the matter is resolved.

Despite the threats, the women gardeners have vowed to continue going to the garden to work.

Speaking to Kerr Fatou, Habib ML Ceesay, the Councilor of Jeshwang Ward frowned at the way the land was allegedly allocated to others, saying that his office has no knowledge of it.

“The word committee has begun engagement with the local government ministry with a view ease out a deal for lasting peace,” he assured.

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