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City of Banjul
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Letters : Encroachment in Kerr Serign

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Dear editor,
There’s an encroachment incident in my street in Kerr Serign that I would like to bring to your attention with the hope that your publication of the story would force the authorities to do their job and reinstate the public way.

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There was an empty room/unit in my street opposite the Benny’s Bar on the SeneGambia strip that was recently rented out to one gentleman. He has since started working on it including the rear and the front parts of it.

However, in so doing, he extended the front side of the veranda into the street by a few metres beyond the demarcation line of the compound thereby encroaching into the public way. I stopped on one occasion and asked him as to why he’s building on the public way. He responded by saying: “Sorry Sir” in what sounded like a Nigerian accent as if apology was what was asked for. He continued to work on the veranda unabated to this day.

I brought the matter to the attention of the Head of GT Board’s Enforcement Unit, Mr. Sang Silva, but a few days later he called to say that the area is outside of their purview therefore cannot do anything about it. That I should bring it to the attention of the Physical Planning Unit. To that end, I contacted one Mr. Ebrima Touray of the said Unit at Brikama Area Council (BAC) and he confirmed that the area in question is indeed under their purview. That he will inform his boss about it, and they will visit the site today (Monday) to issue/serve a demolition notice.

Unfortunately that didn’t happen so I tried reaching him again by phone, but to no avail as his line went unanswered. That came across as if my calls have been avoided, which made me feel all the more suspicious that his boss might have known something about this matter. Is it possible that the man/tenant’s actions (encroachment) have received his boss’s blessings by corrupt means? This is the question I couldn’t find answers to, hence my contacting your esteemed Newspaper. It’s therefore my hope that you will investigate it to ensure that the law is enforced and that public way is restored to its original line.

While I may not be able to understand why certain elements in positions of authority in our government are hell-bent on compromising the interests of the good people of this country for their own selfish gains, I know that this is the only country we have as a people. As such, we either protect it jealously by doing what’s right, or we sell it to the devil and go down in ashes. We cannot tolerate outsiders to come here and help them break our laws thereby destroying ourselves. That’s not what good citizenship entails.
I sincerely hope and pray that you can help bring attention to what appears to be an unlawful act of betrayal of public trust. The street in question, as most streets in the country, is already a narrow public way before this encroachment. To unlawfully take a chunk of that is of almost disregard to the wellbeing of the people of this country never mind those of us who live in that street. As such, cannot let it go unchallenged.

I thank you in advance for your help/service in this matter. It’s my hope that together, we can undo this unlawful act or at least bring more attention to it.

Famara Fams
Kerr Serign

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