Despite our collective and individual efforts to lift ourselves from poverty and enjoy the benefits of life, we are still behind. Underlying the high poverty rates is the country’s relative lack of economic diversity, which makes it highly vulnerable to increasingly erratic rainfall and food price volatility. Rural Gambians are worse off. The consequences of rural poverty include widespread food and income insecurity resulting from weather-induced crop failures and shortages of cash.
Over 60 per cent of all Gambians – and an even higher proportion among poor and extremely poor people – depend on agriculture for their livelihood. At least half of the country’s poor population is composed of farmers and agricultural workers. Groundnut farmers in upland areas are among the poorest. In the North Bank, Upper River and Lower River regions, about two thirds of the population is poor – though pockets of poverty can be found throughout the country.
The government should endeavor even more now in shaping our lives in the best positive way by building on the successes achieved so far.
We should also reflect and analyse our past despite irregularities of our government since we are not where we used to be when we first set out as a country. Although we haven’t achieved all our goals but we should someday, we would someday. Until that day, let us keep our fingers crossed and continue praying for a peaceful, loving and caring Gambia we have all have been living in over the years. We deserve better, Gambians deserve much better, we all do. We must one day live life like others beyond our borders.
Long live The Gambia!!!
Edrissa Bendtner Jammeh
The plight of Bakau Bridge after two decades
Bakau is not only one of the major tourist sites in The Gambia but has also been the most important tourist site since the country’s tourism sector started. It is not just a town that harbours modern hotels but small but it has a very important fishing site where people go to on a daily basis to buy and sell their fish products. Now there are huge challenges at the fishing site. One of those key infrastructures that stand out is the Bakau Bridge, believed to have been constructed in the early 90’s by the Japanese.Since 2007, reports have indicated the bridge began to fall in small pieces and thus requires immediate maintenance. Government should step in and offer aid the people who depend on fishing as a source of livelihood.
The condition of the bridge, according to a fisherman, has cost them a lot of income and put on them a lot of difficulties. He said the bridge is a vital medium where big fishing boats land after coming from the sea for onward distribution to fish mongers. He said it is 7 years now since the bridge has not been in use which he described as a “great disadvantage for us”.
Dudu Saine recalled: “When the bridge was in existence, we used to find it very easy to get access to the big boats after landing, but after the collapse of the bridge, the fishing vessels can no longer land there so they have to go all the way to Sunswing which is a far distance and time consuming.”
Furthermore, the current state of the bridge is a great threat to the community especially young children who normally go to play there and sometimes sustained injuries because the bridge is built of iron which has over the years suffered corossion.