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D3.4m ecotourism project opens

Jun 19, 2012, 2:13 PM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

A 3.4 million dalasis project was recently opened at Ndemban village thanks to the collaborative efforts of The Gambia Tourism Board, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment.

Gamjobs funded the community-based Tourism Project officially opened by the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, and also graced by other senior government officials.

The project will enhance skills development and promote alternative livelihoods in the community of Ndemban and the surroundings.

In her inaugural speech, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, Minister of Tourism and Culture, said: “We are witnessing the signing of times and an attestation to one basic fact that, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the GT Board, in the light of our mandate in transforming The Gambia into a world class tourist destination, is showing no sign of relenting in its efforts of product diversification, improvement, consolidation and expansion.”

The Tourism Minister said the four pillars of this brand new project have been anchored on innovation and quality.

“It is gratifying to know that the GT Board through GAMJOBS invested enormous resources to the tune of D3.4 million and work tirelessly to ensure that this magnificent ecotourism project is operational,” she added.

Minister Jobe-Njie says the project is earmarked to develop and promote ecotourism in Ndemban with a view to generating the much needed employment opportunities for the people of Ndemban and the surrounding communities, conserve the community forest, support local cultural heritage, empower women, encourage tourist expenditure in the local economy among others.

Madam Sally Touray, project coordinator of Gamjobs, said the project was born out of a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Ministry of Trade Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, the Gambia Tourism Board, and Gamjobs.

“In our joint ambition to develop Ndemban, create avenues for employment and improve on the general wellbeing of its inhabitants in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Gamjobs mandate.”

Madam Touray added that Gamjobs project entered into an agreement with the aforementioned institutions and funded the development of this eco-tourism centre through a grant amounting to D 3,325,000.

According to her, the money was disbursed in two installments of D2,140,000 and D1,285,000 on 27 May 2010 and 15 October 2010 respectively.