By Nyima Bah
Mathew Meyer, from the Newcastle County in Deleware, USA, is currently in The Gambia on a week-long visit as guest of the Kanifing Municipal Council.
Newcastle County is Delaware’s largest county with a population of 560,000.
Mr Meyer is accompanied to The Gambia by the vice president of Delaware Africa Caribbean Coalition Hagi Dukureh, a Gambian, among other senior members of the county’s executive.
The visit is designed to build bilateral cooperation between KMC and Newcastle County on prudent and thematic areas in waste management, collection processing and land field management.
Other areas of possible cooperation include geographical information systems for planning and property tax collections, urban public transportation systems including the bus services as well as climate change adaptation and green technology.
The visiting delegation was taken on a tour of the Bakoteh fish market, Bakoteh dumpsite and the Bakau women’s garden.
The mayor of KM, Talib Ahmed Bensouda expressed delight in receiving Mr Meyer and delegation, saying his council looks forward to a mutual partnership with the Americans to enhance development and better the lives of the people.
“We are trying to learn from the best, we want to partner with Newcastle County to see how we can improve as far as waste management is concerned and how service delivery will be improved as well. Of course, we know we are sharing similar problems but they are way ahead of us now and this is about how do we share ideas, technology and culture.”
Mr Meyer described his visit as very useful, adding that The Gambia has so much potentials and hardworking population. “What we see here is about local government in action, making sure that the fish can be cold and sold at the market, and when there is trash or rubbish it can be taken safely to a dumping site as well as making sure women, mothers, sisters and grandmothers have a way to make a living. We look forward to partnering with the municipality on everything we can do to help benefit both the people of Kanifing and Newcastle,” he commented.