#Article (Archive)

AGRICULTURAL SPECTRUM - New agricultural project for Sitanunku in the offing

May 8, 2012, 2:12 PM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

The community of Sitanunku in the Upper Niumi District of North Bank Region will soon benefit from a new agricultural project and school that will not only boost the livelihood of rural farmers but also help to alleviate poverty.

This was disclosed by officials of an international charitable NGO operating in The Gambia and the UK during a recent visit to the proposed site, where the NGO held a meeting with local authorities about its desire and plan to help the community with an agricultural project and building of new school.

The international charitable NGO, which is run by Stephanie and Alan Turner, has been engaged in The Gambia’s development process since 2008 in diverse areas of health, education and recently agriculture.

Speaking at a ceremony held at Sitanunku village in NBR, the Chairman of Karmic Angel international, Alan turner, told villagers that Rome was not built in a day, adding that building the agricultural centre and school will need commitment from the side of the villagers and terms and condition will apply.

He believes that KA’s aim is not limited to only agriculture but also covers areas of interest, saying they would like the school to be named after “Liverpool Sittanunku Nursery School”.

He announced that their NGO will finance the entire project while the community will be tasked with providing labour.

He suggested to the community to open bank account and appoint two secretaries to oversea  the running of the school, saying the NGO will provide funding for 10 orphans to enable them go to school free of charge with uniforms and school materials.

For the agricultural project, the NGO pledged to fence the women’s vegetable garden of 400+200M, remove their wells, replace them with boreholes powered by solar energy since that will last longer.

He describes the Garden as one of the best in the country, which will need to be developed so as to help improve the living standard of the rural women’s.

Stephanie Turner, founder and director of Karmic Angels NGO, said: “We are proud to be associated with these two projects, which will contribute to the development of the community. We are here to talk about the borehole and the nursery school. We hope to do everything possible to help the community of Sitanunku to improve their standard of living.

“We hope to work with the government in attainment of the government’s development blueprints such as Vision 2020. We shall always continue to be consistent and transparent for the benefit of Gambians and brighter Gambia,” she said.

The chairman of KA, Gambia Office, Pa Louis Gomez, re-pledged their commitment and determination to work with the community to achieve their target goals and aspirations, noting that Karmic Angel “is here for the poor and the vulnerable”.

For the Chief of the Village, Edward Jammeh, they will discuss the issues with village elders and two plots of land will be given to the NGO to build their house where they will be staying during their visits.

He commended the NGO for choosing the village out of a lot for extending a helping hand, adding that the project “will be a dream come true”.

Kebba Lang Sonko, vice chairman of the KA also joined various speakers stressing the need for peace and commitment from the villagers.

Mr Sonko noted that the KA did sign an MoU with Menyanta Association, adding that during working period, the donor expects villagers to come in their large numbers to help in the construction.

Yusupha Jatta, of Menyanta Association, shares his association’s principles based on transparency and accountability, while urging both parties to contribute towards the realization of the project.

For comments, suggestions, recommendation and contributions, sent them to saineymarenah@ymail.com or call +220-3471343

Agricultural Spectrum Catchword of the Week: “Our farmers deserve support.”

Read Agricultural Spectrum, your weekly Column every Tuesday for insightful news and current affairs on agricultural development in The Gambia and beyond