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Saturday, December 5, 2020

VP Darboe, Minister Gomez urged to tackle Senegal’s blockage of vital water stream

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By Mafugi Ceesay

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The National Assembly Member for Kantora, Billay Tunkara, has accused VP Ousainu Darboe and water resources minister James Gomez of “doing nothing” about Senegal’s blockage of a vital stream that flows into The Gambia despite promises to tackle the issue.
He said during an election campaign meeting at Sare Alpha village, Mr Darboe who was then the minister of Foreign Affairs, promised to address the issue “as soon as possible.”
He said when he raised the issue with Minister Gomez, he was told that he was not aware of the matter and that he would take it up with Darboe.

“Now it is coming to two years, and nothing is being done as the blockage remains”, he contended.
Tunkara told The Standard at his National Assembly office midweek that communities in his area depend on the stream for their nourishment and that of their livestock.
He said The Gambia Government should engage the Senegalese authorities to urgently remove their blockage of the stream.

He said the stream flows from Niandouba in Senegal down to The Gambia but the authorities dammed the waterway and stopped the waters from flowing through Kantora and Jimara.
“We normally have lots of water from which we fish and get potable water for ourselves and our animals. It is a grave concern for the people of the entire Upper River Region,” he said.
He said the blockage was effected during the Jammeh era following a souring of bilateral relations. He said even though the Barrow government inherited the problem, it should expeditiously try to get the blockage removed as the people are facing an existentialist problem.

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