By Omar Bah
The National Assembly member for Serekunda West has said negligence on the part of Physical Planning is significantly contributing to flood disasters in the country.
“Physical Planning is equally negligent of its duty by allowing people to construct anywhere they wish without any consequences. So, I blame the government for failing in its responsibility to put the safety of its people in the forefront,” Madi MK Ceesay said.
He accused Physical Planning of allocating permits to people sometimes without even doing a proper survey to verify whether the place they are going to build is fit for purpose.
“This is a serious matter that the government should address immediately to avoid future disasters relating to floods.
I went round to see how the rain affected my constituents and it saddened me that some people have been devastated by the rains while others were left homeless. Many Gambians suffered unnecessarily due to the negligence of our authorities. We appreciate the fact that the president and his vice were out and about visiting flood victims. However, what those people need right now is action from the government.”
Hon. Ceesay said the president doesn’t necessarily have to visit the affected victims as the issues of disaster are under the office of the vice president.
“So, the president should have been thinking about what the government could do immediately to address the plight of the victims,” he said.
Honourable Ceesay also challenged the government to exercise political will to address the country’s economic situation.
“It is rather unfortunate that our leaders are good at making promises that they will never fulfil. The government needs to make sacrifices to some extent to tackle the economic dilemma. Citizens are paying taxes. These taxes should be invested in the productive sector like agriculture hence it’s the backbone of the nation,” he said.
Reacting to the recent salary increment, Ceesay said it was necessary especially for low earners but the percentage and the manner in which the increment was done defeated the whole purpose.
“The increment should have been more considerate of the lower income earners and not the same percentage across the board,” he said.
Honourable Ceesay argued that increasing salaries without controlling the prices of commodities is like enriching the business people more because at the end of the day, it’s going back to the market.
Rent amendment bill
Honourable Ceesay said he is still committed to table a private member’s bill to revise the 2014 Rent Act. “But the National Assembly has processes which I should follow. I am working on the ideas to put together a bill which I will submit to the Assembly for consideration. I am looking forward to tabling the bill to revise the 2014 rental Act in September,” Ceesay said.
“I am not doing this to fight compound owners but to at least ensure there is reasonable rent that poor Gambians can afford,” he said.