WCR Authorities sensitized on land acquisition for farming, residence for refugees

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Authorities in the West Coast Region including councilors, district chiefs and village Alkalolu were recently sensitized on land acquisition for farming and residence for refugees at the regional governor’s office in Brikama.

Organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) Gambia office, the objective of the awareness creation is to advocate for the rights and obligation of refugees among local authorities’ especially towards land acquisition and accessibility.

The Gambia Immigration Department commissioner for refugees Enssa Jawara reminded that people should allow refugees to be part of their societies, saying, “Today we are not refugees but years ago our fellow Gambians were in some countries because they needed protection.”

Jawara maintained that refugees need assistance and that can be done when the receiving country open its doors for them. He said it is the duty of the state to protect refugees by providing them with good health, education and a conducive environment and that The Gambia government is doing a tremendous job in that regard.

He appealed to the local government to encourage refuges by providing them with land for farming and other wellbeing opportunities.

Bakary Sanyang, the governor of West Coast Region described the meeting as important because it involves issues concerning refugees.  “This people are here because of conflict or unfriendly environment in their own homes.”

Sanyang emphasised that refuges are ‘our’ own brothers and sisters and they are here because they needed help so it should be Gambia’s responsibility to accommodate them.

Author: Fatou B Ceesay