The Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh, Babili Mansa on Saturday morning led scores of volunteers in harvesting one of the vast maize farms in Foni Kanilai. The activity was part of the official launching of the “Gambia is Green” initiative championed by the First Lady, Her Excellency Madam Zineb Jammeh.
As the work progresses, the volunteers were in great spirit, something that demonstrates their pride working with and for the Gambian leader. It shows that they are proud Gambians and proud of the leadership.
The “Gambia is Green” initiative seeks to draw attention to the importance of food self-sufficiency, economic empowerment, environmental protection and poverty eradication. It also seeks to highlight and compliment government’s desire for agricultural economic empowerment as highlighted in Vision 2020, The Gambia National Agricultural Investment Plan and the Agricultural Natural Resources.
Speaking to the Daily Observer on the sidelines of the harvesting exercise, Fatou Njie-Jallow of the Office of the Ombudsman congratulated the First Lady for conceiving the “Gambia is Green” initiative. The initiative, according to her, will no doubt accelerate the realisation of the President’s desire to have Gambians grow what they eat and eat what they grow.
“The First Lady needs to be commended because she is into many life-changing initiatives such as education, health and now agriculture. Let us support the First Lady and make The Gambia Green,” she said.
Talibeh Cham of KGI was quite enthusiastic to be part of the harvesting exercise, while Yankuba Sonko, the Inspector General of Police saluted Madam Zineb Jammeh for what he described as an important initiative. “This important cause leaves no one behind and that is why personnel of the Police Force are here in numbers because it is through this that we can realise the food self-sufficiency drive,” IGP Sonko said while encouraging Gambians both at home and abroad to support and embrace the First Lady’s call.
President Jammeh taking the lead in the harvesting exercise, IGP Sonko said, was a clear indication of his leadership quality. “He is doing this because he wants to feed the nation.”
Mr. Thomas, a teacher at SOS Senior Secondary School, said he was quite proud and honoured to join Gambians and the First Lady in Kanilai for the launching of the initiative.
Lamin Fatty, a permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said about 70 staff of his Ministry were at the launching of the “Gambia is Green” initiative and joined His Excellency the President in the harvesting exercise.
Momodou Njie, director of Health Promotion and Education at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare also spoke to the Daily Observer on the sidelines of the harvesting. He described the initiative as one that should be important to every Gambian.
Chief Kebba Touray of Niamina East and Chief Sheikh Dawda York of Nianija districts both spoke along the same line, expressing their undivided love and support to the President and the First Family. The huge turnout, they said is a signal to the whole world that Gambians will vote massively come the 1st December presidential election.
Nyima Bojang from Kembujeh said Gambians are quite aware of the importance of food security, adding that the First Lady’s imitative is worth supporting by all and sundry.
Lamin Jamba Jammeh of Kartong urged Gambians to support the realisation of the objective of the “Gambia is Green” initiative.
by Alieu Ceesay