By Olimatou Coker
In the quest to render their humanitarian support, The Gambia Red Cross Society’s senior management and governing board monitoring team has recently wrapped up 3 days site visits to some of their projects in the NBR,URR and CRR.
The tour in partnership with UNDP, Government of The Gambia and its numerous partners took the delegation to visit some flood victims.
The visit was meant to allow officials keep abreast with developments both in terms of performance and impact made on the lives of the people.
The tour conducted in NBR, CRR, URR and LRR respectively came on the heels of the general assembly of the Red Cross when the mandate of the current board is expected to end.
The tour would also allow the incoming board to better prepare in terms of what is need to be done and reviewed.
Speaking, Alasan Senghore, Secretary General of The Gambia Red Cross Society, said every year they have two monitoring visits by their senior management and governing board.
Senghore said they will be going for their general assembly to elect board members and the tour will also allow them to assess themselves both in terms of their performance and also the impact they have made in the lives of people they serve.
According to him, the objective of the tour was also for them to see the tree planting and growing projects they did in partnership with UNDP, the Government of The Gambia, and other partners but also to see flood-affected victims that they supported as well as villages where they are also supporting solar power water systems.
He thanked UNDP and the Government of The Gambia for their trust and confidence in them. He said they have seen that some of the trees planted are surviving, adding that what remains to be done is how they can be saved.
“We have observed that some of the perimeters they did to protect the trees have been taken out by people, and as such advised the community to sensitize themselves around that and also constantly monitor the trees because it is one thing to grow trees and another thing to continue monitoring and engaging the community.”
During the visit the team also visited Koronumu kunda where solar power was installed for the villagers to get easy access to clean drinking water, the borehole is being co-funded by The Gambia Red Cross Society, SolHEALTH, and UB-one foundation.
Under the healthcare support and strengthening project in The Gambia (HSSG), which was implemented in May early this year, a total number of 1,200 pupils in the community of Koronumu kunda over 3 other communities are benefiting from it.
From Koronumu kunda the team also proceed to Jawo Kunda and one other community where GRCS and partners installed boreholes and toilets for the community people.
According to officials of the Gambia Red Cross Society, the community of Koronumu Kunda has been in existence for over 50 years and has never gotten clean drinking water.
Nfally Sama, Village Alkalo of Koronuma Kunda, welcomed the GRCS team in his community while thanking them for providing them with clean drinking water.
Wudey Wally, President of the Women’s Association, said: “Water has been our very big challenge. Our wells used to be very dry that even to get water to drink used to be a big problem until the GRCS and partners came and rescued us.”
Sorry Jabbie, VDC Chairman of Koronumu Kunda Villiage, said throughout he has never seen clean water till the coming of the GRCS and partners in their village.
The only existing well the community accesses, he said, sometimes dries up leaving inhabitants in dilemma.
Amadou Drammeh, SolHEALTH Country Project Coordinator, said people cannot leave healthily without clean drinking water, and the government can’t do this all alone.
“The project comprises three different partners namely, the GRCS, SolHEALTH, and UB; one to dig a borehole here in Koronumu kunda village. This is not the first-time digging boreholes for the community; we did it in many other communities before.”
He urged the villagers to take proper care of the boreholes and also take ownership of them for future maintenance.
Sillah, president of GRCS, called on the villages to value what has been given to them. He said water is very important in life, health, and religion as well.
The delegation also visited Farafenni Madrassatul Skeikhful Islamic Institute, where GRCS in partnership with IFRC supported 25 students with cash for three months as well as school sanitary materials, among others.
In Farafenni, beneficiary students took turns to thank the society and partners for the assistance extended to them in the form of school fees and materials.