There is a saying in the West that a president’s legacy is largely determined by his/her response to disasters. Thus, you see leaders in the West responding quickly when there is a disaster – whether natural or manmade.
Currently, we see how Mr Donald Trump of the United States of America is struggling to at least appear to be caring for the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. [I am not saying that America is our exemplar, they have their own problems and priorities while we have ours, but it’s a question of following good practices].
During the course of the last few weeks, the skies have opened up in an unprecedented way in The Gambia. There have been reports of flooding in Kuntaur where hundreds [if not thousands] lost their homes, properties and livelihoods.
Yet, until now, we have not seen any gesture from your government [at least not that I am aware of]. What is responsible for this? The people of Kuntaur are equally Gambians whose plight should concern you and your government.
This is another reason why it is important to appoint a vice president. Had we had a vice president currently, while you are in the Holy City of Makkah performing the Hajj, s/he could have gone to Kuntaur in your stead. It is important that your government be seen to be doing something about that disaster.
Your government has no excuse to fail. It is said that people should learn from mistakes, theirs and others’. This government has two failed governments to learn from. If they study why Jawara and Jammeh failed and learn from the mistakes those two made, then there is little doubt that they will succeed.
The second important point is about the expertise and knowhow. Certainly, the Gambia has people with the skills, expertise and knowledge to change our course for the better, even in the area of disaster relief and management. Engage them!
Yet, there is a third asset your government has provided you make good use of it; that is, an engaged citizenry, particularly the youth. The youth of this country have never shown as much interest in politics as at this time. Capitalize on it and move this ship.
It would be prudent to quickly do something about the flood victims of Kuntaur. Remember, this might be part of your legacy as a president.
Have a good day Mr President.