By Olimatou Coker
City Link Ostend Banjul project, funded by the European Union over the weekend organised a press briefing and beach cleasing exercise in Banjul.
Alfusainey Gano, project manager of City Link Banjul, said the collaboration between Banjul City Council and Ostend City Council in Belgium is aimed at looking at five components before the end of its lifespan of 36 months.
He further said the first among the five components targeted by the project is good governance, adding that the European Union, Banjul City Council and Ostend City Council realised that if the governance aspect of Banjul is not strengthened, then they cannot get to the promised land.
He said the councilors who are the policy makers, the management, the city actors, youth and women groups have to come together to make it happen and make Banjul how they want it to be.
He said good governance is on top of their priority, adding “we intend Banjul a city with the best service delivery in terms of giving back to the people.”
He said Crab Island will be transformed into a business center and introduce skills for the youth and women folk in Banjul and Gambia at large. He said a community radio station will also be established in Crab Island before the the project ends.
He added that the 3rd component in the project is to improve the cleansing service department of BCC.“ We want to see Banjul beautiful and I believe we will achieve it before the end of the 36 months,” he stated.
He also thanked the Mayor and the political leadership of Banjul for the initiative.
Mamlie Jassey, project coordinator, stated that the project was initiated by the BCC Mayor Rohey Malick Lowe, adding that it was really competitive as 100s of candidates applied for it but was won by BCC, while also describing it as the first of its kind.
He added that the funding of the project is 3 million Euros, adding that even after the lifespan of the project, things will continue in the area of employment, youth and women empowerment.
Speaking on behalf of the Council, Modou Lamin Bah, PRO of BCC, said the project is aimed at helping the Banjulians in addressing so many things, among which he said is strengthening good governance, health and empowerment.
“The objective of the project is to transform Banjul to become one of the most sustainable cities in the world,” he remarked.
He also thanked the project team for the job while expressing sincere appreciation to European Union for funding the project.
Giving introduction of the project, Annete Camara,, Communication Officer of the Banjul- Ostend City, said the project will support the BCC in its efforts to develop and help the public service of Banjul and also to strengthen the relationship between the BCC and its residents.
She said the project also aims to rehabilitate Crab Island and strive for a greener and friendlier Banjul which will be attractive to Gambians.