United Nations Office for Project Service (UNOPS), on Wednesday awarded
contracts to nine contractors for the construction of feeder roads, as part of
projects funded by the European Union for communities in CRR, URR and NBR
within three years.
Senior government officials from the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, members of the National Assembly as well as other international organisations in the country attended the official signing ceremony that was held at Ocean Bay Hotel in Bakau.
Delivering his opening address, Nicholas Hodgson, UNOPS’ project manager, said the project was officially launched in November 2017, following an agreement between the European Union and UNOPS in July 2017.
The theme of the agreement was: “Reinforced Access of the Most Vulnerable Populations to Markets and Socio-Economic Facilities Through a Feeder Road Rehabilitation Programme.”
Hodgson noted that the project is designed to achieve two main objectives: to improve access to social amenities and markets in targeted rural areas and to improve road network management in The Gambia.
“UNOPS has received the gold award for distinction in sustainable procurement, three years in a row, from The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), which demonstrates our strong sustainability goals and commitment to quality.”
Malang Jammeh, deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure who deputised for the minister of Transport Works and Infrastructure, stressed that the feeder roads project is entirely funded by the European Union. The project was aligned with government’s commitments on ‘Poverty Reduction and Transportation,’ a framework characterised by Vision 2020 and anchored on Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers 1 and 11 and the previous national development strategy- PAGE (Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment).
DPS Jammeh added that The European Union has been The Gambia’s main donor in the transport sector over the years; and the only donor involved in the governance of the road contributing over €76.5 million to this sector.
This feeder roads project, he said, is a result of a request made by the government of The Gambia to the European Union to fund a transport sector project in support of its Pragramme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE), under the 10th EDF.
A study was conducted in 2012/ 2013 that eventually led to a short-list of feeder roads based on socio-economic indicators and budget availability.