By Amadou Jadama
About 20 new garbage collection trucks were unveiled at a ceremony presided over by Mayor Talib Bensouda of the KMC on Saturday.
Addressing the gathering, the mayor said the vehicles are part of the ‘Mballit’ Project.
Under the project, each of the 19 wards in the region as well as the hotel and industrial areas was allocated a truck to collect rubbish on a daily basis.
The communities in the areas will pay about D100 a month.
Mayor Bensouda further revealed that the project is the first of its kind in the history of The Gambia and took them 9 months of hard work by three Councils committees, 26 Councillors, 19 ward development committees, 2 lawyers as well as hundreds of youths who made the work possible.
“Ten months ago, after the demands from my community for immediate action on the waste management crises in our municipality, we offered the Mballit project at the tune of D100M that belongs directly to the community of our 19 wards.
“It is a partnership between the QGroup and the ward development committee who represented their communities in this agreement.
The Council served as facilitator and manager of the project and each ward has a truck, and the community will pay back,” Bensouda said.
He added: “Our target for our community is to fulfill their part of the agreement in less than three years, and thereafter, the trucks will be transferred to the full ownership of the wards. These trucks and the project belong to you and you must treat them as such.
We have opened 19 ward offices to better serve you.
From these offices, you can get the schedule and rules of the waste collection.
You can buy your tickets and lodge your complaints if they arise to help improve council services.”
Bensouda further disclosed that 11months ago, during the president’s meet the people’s tour, he talked waste management in KM and Council’s lack of resources to meet this challenge.
“Last Wednesday, I met President Adama Barrow to discuss the matter and he has shown keen interest to support the Council to achieve its waste management goals and he assured his full support.
“We continue to look forward to his support and guidance.
I would like to inform my fellow sister Councillors that KMC stands ready to share its ideas and provide technical support to councils throughout The Gambia who wish to emulate this mballit project.”
Mayor Bensouda further assured to the people of KM that there is no special secret recipe to this project, adding that the only recipe is unity and harmony.
He urged the people in his region to forget their political differences and work together for the development of KM.
“I can promise you, this project will mark the beginning of the transformation of KM into a modern Municipality.”
The ceremony was attended by all councilors from different political parties and their officials.
Meanwhile on Friday Mayor Bensouda also inaugurated 30 newly constructed stores at the Serekunda Market.