OPINION: Alarm is loud and clear

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The challenge is not resources but utilization of resources. The World Bank has given $10 million ( half a billion dalasi) to The Gambia  and the first mistake we made was to attempt to score a political point by not clearly stating that it came from the World Bank pledge of $12b to support the fight against the pandemic.

We are now at the cross roads and it is a matter of live and death. The resources at our disposal are unlimited and we must access them and we must deploy them efficiently and effectively. We cannot wait until we reach the level of China, Europe and America before we implement the measures that they are now implementing. We must avoid to reach their levels. Therefore unpleasant decisions need to be taken. It is time to close all non essential business such as salons, video clubs, casinos, fashion shops, etc. and all non essential / critical government services. All public markets should from now on close early. The police and the army should be deployed to enforce the lockdown. The boarder closure will only make sense if there are patrols to protect our porous border. As someone said, ‘it is time to make a tradeoff between our individual rights and the public good.’

The police must advertise hot lines which people can call to report violations.

Once again, we must avoid waiting till we reach the level of Europe to implement tough measures. The government must access and deploy all necessary resources which are in abundance out there.

If Europe, America and China contain the virus and it moves to Africa they will lock us out and giving our poor infrastructure, capacity and education levels, it could have devastating consequences. So let us not be complacent.

From A concern citizen