Addressing a press conference yesterday at the headquarters of the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), secretary general Halifa Sallah explained that the “exuberant” welcome by “thousands” of people at launching of their Agenda 2016 in Barrow Kunda, URR and rally at Jahanka, CRR, “compelled PDOIS to initiate a new tool for electoral accountability so that the people would not pin their enthusiasm and support on false hope. 

“This is the basis of this electoral contract which stipulates a time bound programme to address the urgent needs of communities. Within one month of the establishment of a PDOIS administration, we shall establish a Commission on Urban and Rural Development to map out the developmental priorities of the rural and urban dwellers and advise government on the priority policies, programmes and projects which should be undertaken aimed at putting an end to all major threats to general welfare and ensure the balanced and proportionate development of all communities. 

“We shall establish a task force to identify all villages where market days are held in order to make concrete strategic development plans and time bound projects to enable them to be connected to motorable feeder roads and major high ways and have appropriate health and water facilities within a time frame of six months to two years.  We shall document and establish a priority list for accessing pumping devices to guarantee access to clean drinking water and labour saving devices for villages which do not have such facilities and those which require villagers   to draw water from wells that are between 10 to 67 metres deep”. 


He added: “Within three months of a PDOIS government, we shall establish a joint border commission for socio-economic development comprising Gambian and Senegalese experts with the view to access the socio-economic linkages of villagers  bordering Senegal and The Gambia in order to harmonise plans, programmes and projects which would facilitate the balance and proportionate development of such villages with a view to preventing the spill-over effect of populations due to imbalance in development by ensuring that they enjoy equal political, social, economic, cultural and ecological rights  and thus enhance the free movement of people, goods and services without any adverse effect on either side. 

“Within six months to three years of a PDOIS administration, we shall ensure that all villages have access to clean drinking water and labour saving devices to free women from associated drudgery. We shall ensure that all small villages have minor health centres and further encourage the Red Cross to have presence in all villages to engage village youths in health and other social support services to improve the health and social service delivery systems of villages.  We shall ensure that each major village has a major health centre, proper and reliable sources of clean drinking water and a 10-year free and compulsory upper basic school and motorable roads linked to a major highway. 

“We shall ensure that each district has a district hospital and at least one senior public secondary school and district capital for the promotion of developmental activities in the area. We shall ensure that all regions have referral hospitals and major tertiary educational institutions. Within a year of PDOIS administration, we shall establish a cooperative banking and marketing institution which shall have the objectives of providing all family farms with adequate fertiliser, seeds and farm inputs; ensure the marketing of the produce and guarantee access to fair income mutually determined by the producers and the cooperative marketing institution.

“We shall initiate the use of appropriate technology to link groundnut and sesame production with edible oil production which attracted D457 million worth of imports in 2007.  We shall provide vegetable gardens with water, fences, appropriate fertiliser and other inputs market their produce and guarantee the producers fair income. We shall initiate the use of appropriate technology to process vegetables into value added products like tomato paste which attracted D121 million worth of imports in 2007. 

“We shall establish appropriate transportation facilities for the purchase of fruits, ensure their marketing and guarantee fair income to the producers. We shall initiate appropriate technology for the production of fruit juice to add value and provide cattle owners with adequate sources of fodder, water and appropriate veterinary services, markets and guaranteed access to fair income. We shall initiate appropriate technology for the production of milk which attracted D149 million worth of imports in 2007. We shall gather experienced seafarers and ex-officers of the navy into a fishing cooperative and provide them with appropriate fishing trawlers and markets. Initiate appropriate technology for processing fish products.” 

Mr Sallah said if they fail to deliver on these pledges and breach the contract, the electorate should sever relations with the party and look for a better alternative.


By Sainey Darboe