It breaks my heart to see on a daily basis on television, newspapers and online, the extent to which our youth folks are willing to go, just to get to Europe. For me, it shows how frustrating living or working in our home countries can be.
Our governments, private sector and civil society must do more in improving the working and living standards for the people. Better job opportunities must be created for the youths in both the formal and the informal sectors. This will encourage investments from the young – their lives, time and whatever resources they have, to live and work in their home countries. We are losing a lot of our youth folk to the perilous ‘back way’ journeys to Europe.
Something must be done now.
Why the late rains?
It’s late rains in The Gambia! The rainy season usually starts in June but since that time we have had fewer rainfalls. Which is a rare occurrence compared to the times we have faced such a problem. But statistics from the past years looking at the whole sub-region are not encouraging either. The farming community’s production has suffered drastically over the years.
According to figures, grain production in many areas of the Sahel region was 36 per cent down on the previous year and 20 per cent lower than the average for the past five years. In Senegal, the production of groundnuts, one of the country’s main crops, was down 59 per cent on the previous year. And we being neighbours to Senegal have the same realities.
Most of the farmers in this country are mainly subsistent and depend on the rains for their farming. That being the case, this year will definitely be a failure for farmers the country over, except there is a turn of fate in the rain system. This calls for the intervention of the faithful of all places through prayer and invoking the powers of heavens.
Gambians being mainly believers in one of the two Abrahamic religions, Islam and Christianity, we are supposed to be asking those metaphysical questions which are on the mind of believers in times of the ceasing of the beneficence of heavens. Both religious traditions have a strong presence of prayers as a tool to alleviate the suffering that cannot be averted by our human selves. So during these times, we call on Muslims, Christians and peoples of other faiths to make collective prayers to ease the coming of the rain for us.
Another very pertinent issue pertaining to the coming of the rains is the problem of deforestation which has been a primary factor for the low rains. One of the major causes of this problem is the high rate of poverty that forces people to cut down entire forests just so they can provide basic needs. So in fighting against problems we must look at the socio-economic realities. Inasmuch as we acknowledge and affirm the hand of the Divine in all supernatural affairs, we must not forget that many of these problems are man-made and can be averted with the proper methodology followed.
Added to this is also the problem of drivers splashing dirty stagnant water on commuters. Common sense dictates that you slow down and avoid dirtying people. This is a big problem especially when the roads are in bad shape. So we kindly implore drivers to heed this message accordingly.