Yahya Jammeh market inaugurated
Thursday, February 21, 2008
A community initiative self help 'Tesito' market named after President Dr Alhaji Yahya Jammeh at Old Yundum was on Tuesday officially inaugurated by Vice President Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy as part of activities marking The Gambia's 43rd Independence anniversary.
Officially declaring the market open, Vice President Njie-Saidy described the project as a move geared towards advancing the socio-economic development of the Gambian people. She said the medium term development blue print of the government in the PRSP, spells out government's priority programs for communities. She added that one of the pillars of the PRSP talks about enhancing the productive capacities of the people noting that the development of the market is a testimony of the cumulative efforts on the ground to achieve this goal.
According to her, what makes the Old Yundum market project unique was that it was conceived and implemented by the community of Old Yundum which she said is in tune with the efforts over the years to engender a bottom-up participatory approach to development. She added that the development of the market would no doubt ease the burden on the residents of not only the citizendry of Old Yundum, but also Sinchu Baliya, Sinchu Sorie and Sinchu Alagie. "The new market will help ease the present congestion at Brikama and Serekunda markets and also reduce the travel time and transportation costs that the women of this area incur in travelling to these markets. It will also provide a nearer and alternative market for women vegetable growers from these communities who normally transport their produce to Brikama or Serekunda markets for sale as well as create employment for women and youth of the locality" she said.
She expressed gratitude to the people of Old Yundum for deciding to finally hand it over to the Brikama Area Council for management and upkeep. This she said will significantly increase the revenue base of the Council and help it to plough this back to other needed community services. She then urged the Brikama Area Council to ensure that priority is given to women in the allocation of market spaces, noting that the primary aim of the market is to enhance the earning capacities of women thereby ensuring their economic empowerment. This she said is one of the most important objectives of the government and therefore every effort must be made to ensure that this is implemented.
Vice President Njie-Saidy then thanked all those who have in one way or the other contributed to the realisation of this project and the consultants and contractors for their timely completion of the project and according to specifications. She also commended the Brikama Area Council for the encouragement and support given to the community of Old Yundum during the implementation of the construction works as well as the Department of State for Local Government Lands and Religious Affairs for their close supervision and coordination during the implementation process.
She also saluted the people of Old Yundum for the laudable initiative adding that the people have seen the need for a market in this area and have made successful efforts to meet this need and this is what participatory governance is all about - partnering with government for the welfare of all.
Ismalia Sambou, secretry of state for Local Government, Lands and Religious Affairs said the market is a testimony of President Jammeh's commitment to enhancing the socio-economic well-being of the people and partnership between government and the people. He said there was no doubt that the previous market was not good and the increase in the population and coresponding markets has necesitated the need for the market.
According to him, it is in recognition of this urgent need that the community build the market with the support of Brikama Area Council (BAC) under the leadership of Ousman Gaye, former chairman of the Brikama Area Council. He said the market included the construction of canteens, sheds, a police station, upgrading a health post and fencing the football field. The market according to him, when finally handed over to BAC for managment, will increase the revenue base of the council at a substantial amount. "It will also create employment for women and youths" he said.
He then urged BAC to properly maintain and manage the market and further informed the people of that BAC has a provision for the supply of electricity and water for the market in their 2008 budget.
Hon. Adama Cham, NAM for Kombo North the market had translated the government's decentralisation process and power has been given to the people to initiate and plan their development priorities. .He extended gratitude to all those who contributed to the success of the project and called on other communities to emulate Old Yundum.
For his part, Mamout Faye, Village Development Chairman gave a synopsis of the project noting that the implementation started in 2007 with the support of government. He said the market will help the community to engaged in various investment activities. "This is a great boost for the women and youths. The women will through the market have their chances to pay school fees for theoir children and meet other household expenditures. The market is also situated at a proper location and will provide 300 women with canteens" he said.
He added that their aim was to compliment government's efforts to achieving Vision 2020 and then quickly reaffirned their support and loyalty to the Jammeh adminstration.
Pa Ebrima Faye, Alkalo of Old Yundum said the new market will solve the problem of those who do travel to far distances like Serrekunda market and other places. He then mentioned the lots of benefits the people of Old Yundum enjoyed in the Jammeh adminstration ranging from schools, classic roads among others. He also commended the governmet and the people of old Yundum for the initiative geared towards national development and urged them to keep up the good work.
Other speakers included Ousman Gaye, former chairman of Brikama Area Council, Isatou Ello Bah, head of the women folk and Governor Abdou Badjie of Western Region chaired the ceremony.
Hon. Fatoumatta Jahumpa-Ceesay, Speaker of the National Asembly, secretaries of state, Paramount Chief Alhagie Demba Sanyang among others attended the ceremony.
Author: by Alhagie Jobe