The fascination with Gambia
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Having recently visited The Gambia for a second time, my wife and I would like to share with you our impression of The Gambia and the people we met during our most enjoyable holiday.
We have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel, partly as a result of my time in the Royal Air Force and, later in life, holidaying in worldwide destinations. Therefore giving us a better insight into the different countries and the peoples. Until coming to The Gambia, we had not met a more welcoming, friendly and courteous people.
Our visit this time has been for me in particular, a learning curve, taking the opportunity to visit former friends, meet with local people at home and at work and getting to know something about their hopes and aspirations.
The progress made since our last visit in 2005 bodes well for the future. I refer not only to the complete clearance of the tip at Bakoteh but the building projects completed and ongoing developments, which is certainly a positive and progressive move forward by your president and his government.
We were disappointed when we visited a friend in Bakau to see the conditions that were similar to our first visit in last year, when we visited the tourist attraction at the Crocodile Pool in Kachikally. I refer to the pollution and the stench that comes from the stagnant water in the storm drains in the streets. We were horrified to see children playing nearby, oblivious of the health risks posed. It appeared to be the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, dysentery and whatever else thrives in such conditions.
I am aware of the clean the nation scheme, which I think is an excellent idea. The solution to such urban problem requires affirmative action. As a meaningful suggestion, perhaps secured but removable grilles fixed over the storm drains would restrict and possibly eliminate the build up of rubbish etc, thus ensuring a free flowing drainage system.
I visited the GTTI during my holiday and the Welding and Fabrication Department would, I am sure, welcome the opportunity to benefit the community as a whole by undertaking this project.
The principal will no doubt remember my recent visit.
May I conclude this letter by saying The Gambia may be small in size but the harmonious way in which different religions accept and respect each other, was for us, a heart warming experience which the so-called developed world would do well to also experience.
Author: M. Martin Cardiff