NCAC, Senegalese counterparts visited heritage sites


By Baba Sillah The  National Centre for Arts and Culture in collaboration with their Senegalese counterparts  have   embarked on a two- day site visit to Stone Circles in Wassu in the Central River Region and Wanar in Senegal,   as part of the institutions’ Stone Circles Senegambia Management Plan Project, where the officials  had a stakeholders meeting with the two communities. The purpose of the visit was to get first-hand information from the two communities as how to preserve and develop the sites in order to attract visitors across the globe which will also generate revenue for the communities and their respective countries. The delegation was led by the director general of NCAC, Baba Ceesay  to Wassu  where  the community were informed about the importance of the Stone Circles which are now part of the Unesco world heritage sites for almost a decade now. The community have also suggested the construction of a craft market, hotel, library and construction of road to the site which will attract more visitors. Responding to their request, the director general of NCAC, Baba Ceesay assured the community that their request will be put into consideration as NCAC together with its counterparts such as the Unesco are working hard to make sure certain amenities are available at the site that will attract visitors to generate income to the community and the state as well. From Wassu, the delegation on Friday proceeded to Wanar in Senegal with their Senegalese counterparts where similar sentiments were expressed by the community. The project is part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation [Unesco] world heritage nomination dossier for the stone circles of the Senegambia, which was listed as World Heritage in 2006, was submitted to the world heritage committee in 2005 with an accompanying management plan for the period 2005-2009. More than a decade after the development of the plan, the officials responsible for its implementation in the Gambia and Senegal have never met to review its progress or lack of it, especially for joint actions stipulated in the plan, most of which have remained undone. The project therefore will provide an opportunity for the two to meet, evaluate the progress made in the implementation of the expired plan, analyse the lapses and develop rectification measures for those aspects that did not work. The expectation is the development of a new management plan that reinforces the role of the local communities in the management of the sites, identifying activities to support them to maximise on potential benefits available to them through the presence of the sites in their localities which forms the essence of the project.]]>