Kerr Fatou Online Media House
with focus on the Gambia and African News. Gambia Press Union 2021 TV Platform OF The Year

The Complex Landscape Of Market Responsibility In The Gambia: A Plea For Collaboration

0 147

Kemo Bojang, KMC Youth Councillor

By Kemo Bojang

While it is indeed important to address the responsibility of KMC in ensuring proper market facilities, it is noteworthy that we find it a bit contradictory that the president had openly stated in a meeting in Brikama that no land belongs to the area council. In the past, we also witnessed how the Basse market was forcefully taken from Foday Danjo, and allocations were done by the governor. This leaves us confused as to who is responsible for markets in The Gambia. Should we listen to the president or the minister?

While we have renovated markets like the Talinding Market, Bakau Market, Serekunda Market Mbarri Pa Dembo, and more, it’s equally critical to delve into the systemic challenges hindering our progress. The central government’s support in providing land papers to KMC holds immense significance, as it serves as the cornerstone for speedy municipal development.

Unfortunately, this has been politicised, and we have not been able to even administer public lands within our municipality. Our administration has diligently worked to gather resources through partners, donors, and eminent fiscal discipline by moving the municipality from an economic deficit to a surplus financial resources center, ushering in a new era of infrastructural development encompassing road projects, housing, recreational facilities, and waste management initiatives. As Minister of Works and Infrastructure, your advocacy and support in these endeavors are pivotal for the realization of our shared vision of progress and prosperity, especially as development by KMC is national development because it will benefit all.

Furthermore, we implore the central government to redirect its focus from favoring big businesses to prioritising the welfare of our citizens, particularly the marginalized segments of society. Resources, such as the $50 million loan given to Hamidou Jah, should have been allocated towards supporting municipal services that directly benefit the underprivileged, rather than perpetuating the interests of a select few. Imagine if that 50 million was allocated as subventions; we have never seen; we would have redirected our energy into other important issues.

Moreover, there exists a pressing need for clarity regarding the decentralisation policy, which is instrumental in empowering councils and fostering efficient governance at the grassroots level. The prolonged delay in providing subventions, title deeds, rights for property valuations, and urban planning severely undermines our ability to serve our communities effectively. Additionally, the denial of a radio license hampers our capacity to communicate and engage meaningfully with our constituents, thereby impeding our efforts toward inclusive governance.

Despite our steadfast efforts to establish municipal markets, progress has been frustrated by the central government’s reluctance to provide land titles over the past six years. Swift action in granting these titles is imperative, as it would alleviate the pressing space constraints faced by vendors, thereby facilitating their ability to conduct business effectively.

Lastly, before attributing blame to KMC, it is necessary to scrutinise the achievements of the four NPP-led councils. Since their elections, we haven’t heard of any developments from their end; all progressive councils have been manned by the United Democratic Party. The realisation that KMC’s budget surpasses that of ministries underscores our commitment and effectiveness in resource management. Minister Sillah, acknowledging this fact should serve as a testament to the exemplary leadership demonstrated within KMC, rather than an opportunity for condemnation. It is incumbent upon us to foster a spirit of cooperation and collaboration, transcending political rhetoric for the collective betterment of our communities.

We have always opened our doors for collaboration, and we believe this is the only way to support our struggling country. As an elder brother of ours, we believe you can be one of the leading lights to unite our country, especially local governments and the central government. We have seen the hostility we had in KMC, and now we are seeing the same with Brikama; we are not enemies; we are development partners.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.