South community of Siffoe, through its community engagement initiatives has
raised more than one million dalasis earmarked for the construction of a new
community market. This came following growing concerns over the ageing and
dilapidated condition of the existing market which has served for many years.
The funds were raised through Young People Without Borders (YPWB); a youth-led community-based organisation in Siffoe, who launched the ambitious initiative in November last year, with a one-month mid-nation bicycle ride by six young people, targeting a sum of D4.4M.
At a community meeting on Saturday, YPWB chairperson and coordinator of the fund raiser, Kalifa Kanteh recalled that since 2016, they have been making efforts to raise fund as much as possible for the market project.
He said prominent among their patrons are Brikama Area Council, who donated 50, 000, the European Union funded Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) with 15, 000 US dollars and citizens of Siffoe in the Diaspora.
“The Gambia Rural Poor Association (GAMRUPA), Siffoe Youth Development Association and YPWB have all contributed including Jah Oil Company, who donated 200 bags of cement.”
Mr. Kanteh said their target is to construct a market space that will include stalls, shops for rent and office for the Village Development Committee.
Village Development Committee (VDC) Chairman Ebrima Jallow said the whole community is concerned about the dilapidated condition of their existing market which compelled them to launch the fund raiser.
Kartong ward councillor Abubacarr Kanteh said the fund-raiser is a community initiative, adding that they are aware that the central government or local councils cannot provide all the needs of the people.
Kanteh thus appealed to young people of the community to be active participants in the implementation of the project just as how they participated in the fund raising activities.
Representing the Brikama Area Council, Kembujeh ward councillor Alieu Darboe said the Local Government Act mandates that VDCs are the entry point for development in every community.
“No government can provide all the needs of its citizens but people must stand to defend the development interest of their people.”