By Tabora Bojang
A swam of bees dispersed crowds in Kerewan where President Barrow laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Governor’s office and residence. The bees, which must have been disturbed by the large crowd, stung several people, a number of them taken to Farafenni hospital for relief. But that dramatic twist of the trip did not overshadow the unveiling of two important projects Barrow said are part of his government’s policy to ensure that all areas of the country get their share of the national cake.
He began the tour with the laying of the foundation stone to mark the commencement of the 88km Niumi-Hakalang road project after many years of waiting.
The project is funded by the Gambia Government as part of funds earmarked for road constructions in the recently approved supplementary appropriation budget 2020.
Speaking at the ceremony, Barrow said the construction of Hakalang road network is evidence of his government’s strong will to ensure that no section of Gambian society is deprived of their rights to live dignified life and have their equal share of the national cake.
“As a government we have taken the critical decision to rebuild our economy and bring infrastructure development closer to the people. Our goal is to deliver good governance and accountability, social cohesion and national reconciliation and a revitalised and transformed economy for the well-being of all Gambians.”
He stated that the residents of Niumi are popular for their active engagement in gardening and horticulture, noting the project when completed, will immediately trigger increased economic and social benefits for over 70 thousand inhabitants including the development of agriculture, fisheries and tourism.
The president called on Gambian to take ownership of their development process.
“Our development partners are supporting our progress so we have to take ownership of our development process and commit ourselves to meeting our obligations in our best interest, to put it bluntly we must learn to be self-reliant and independent because there is more honour and dignity in striving to feed oneself than in begging or being fed,” Barrow told a large crowd of supporters in Buniadu, the starting point of the road.
He continued: “It is the development of the people that makes national development a reality. Working together therefore we can attend this while maintaining peace and stability and security in the country. My government has taken this big strive to ensure that the people of Hakalang are not any longer excluded from the national development process.”
The Hakalang road was on the top agenda of his government’s development priorities and has even teased his Finance Minister that even if it means “robbing a bank he would to ensure Hakalang becomes a reality.”