By Tabora Bojang
President Adama Barrow has announced a project for the total and complete renovation of the facilities at the country’s main referral, Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital.
According to President Barrow, initial works for the project are about to commence following the signing of the contract. He did not disclose the contractor.
He said the government will be pumping about D175 million into the refurbishing of the infrastructure that will provide the hospital a modern facelift and expand specialization in other areas like dentistry.
“We have already signed the contract for the project and it involves renovating and equipping the hospital into a modern facility. This contract is already approved and we will be investing D175 million into it. We will also be training young Gambians to specialise in several fields including dentistry,” Barrow revealed at the closing of his meet-the-people tour in Banjul Thursday.
He said upon completion of the project, Gambians will now be given the opportunity to do specialised medical training in the country instead of travelling overseas.
The president said his government has now got all the necessary funds following the approval of the supplementary appropriation.
“Now we will fully focus on the development of Banjul and this is one of the few projects earmarked by my government to turn Banjul into a modern capital. I am a son of this city as it remains so dear to my heart. We will only do what the people of this city wanted, this is a government of the people,” Barrow added.
He warned Banjulians to be cautious of “political detractors” who were opposed to the Banjul roads and rehabilitation project but are “now returning to them for votes.
“Do not listen to these people, they are what we call wolves in sheep’s clothing. Let them not mislead you. We are in this together,” the president claimed.
Banjul floods “should not be politicised”
Speaking on the recent floods that affected dozens of city residents on Tobacco road and Campama due to water blockade, the president warned against “politicisation” of the incident.
“It is unfortunate. We are not happy about it. We don’t want it to happen but it is an accident caused by an old pipe connected in 1988. It is about 30 or more years, obviously anything that is old needs to be maintenanced or fixed. Even as a human being, you get sick sometimes and you have to go to the hospital to be treated. The experts are working 24 hours to restore it. They have divers who are working to restore the pipe. We don’t want anybody to politicise it. I am not politicising it. This is about national duty, it is about the country, it is about our capital city,” Barrow said.