By Awa Macalo
Kanifing Municipal Council in partnership with the British High Commission on Tuesday launched a solar powered cold storage facility for KM vegetable sellers and gardeners.
The D615,800 project is aimed at solving cold storage challenges that women have been encountering, and help them within the market to minimize the high percentage of losses when their vegetables perish.
The storage facility will maintain the freshness of vegetables and prevent spoilage.
The Mayor of Kanifing, Talib Ahmed Bensouda, said it is also part of their goals to extend such a project to other markets in KM. “We also hope we can provide a cold storage facility for those women selling fish, sea foods and butchers,” he said.
The Mayor said they had also set up a post monitoring mechanism for the facility. “There’s a committee led by the vendors and a standing committee led by councilor Lamin Jammeh and others have the oversight function to ensure the sustainability of the project.”
Pa Jabbie Gassama, the president of the Serekunda Market Committee applauded the municipality for standing with the women. He said this project will serve as a liftup in vegetable gardening and selling. He also urged the municipality to continue with their great work and provide more of such initiatives.
“Those investing in fish business have been struggling with cold storage facilities and they do hope their concerns will be put into consideration,” he said.
The chairman of the market committee, councilor Lamin Jammeh in his statement revealed that they have strategies to develop markets within the KM region and Serekunda is one of them. “We are coming with market extension programmes in which we will be developing about eight markets in the Kanifing Municipality and in that, Serekunda market will have two phases. In the centre of the market, there will be a three-storey building market and car parks; the measurement has already been done and it’s in progress,” Jammeh said.
He said scarcity of shops in twelve months will be history.
The ouncilor of women and children’s affairs, Bineh Marong, thanked the British High Commission and the KMC leadership for responding to the calls of women.
Musu Metta Manneh, women representative, welcomed the gesture, saying that their vegetables are now in good hands. She said they will no longer complain of poor cold storage facilities for their vegetables.
The British High Commissioner to The Gambia, His Excellency David Belgrove OBE said they were quick to respond because they know how hard women are struggling especially during this pandemic. “We understand that you have lost businesses because of the pandemic and it is part of my government’s efforts to help the economic recovery of The Gambia.”