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Lawmaker blames boat disaster on security lapses

Dec 27, 2019, 4:16 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Hon. Sulayman Saho, the National Assembly Member (NAM) for Central Badibou has frowned at the security, saying it’s disheartening to see young people leave the coast of Barra going to Europe by sea without the notice of the security.

“A lot have been invested in the security sector reforms but it’s disheartening to see that young people leave the coast of Barra going to Europe by sea where almost 60 Gambians drown. This tells us that we have security lapses in the country,” he said during the National Assembly adjournment debate.

He added: “Where were the Fire Services and the Police in Barra? That’s the question we need to ask ourselves. So, when we say security reforms we do not only mean taking guns and arms from security men then say we are secured; or when there’s no demonstration and protest in the country we are secured,” he emphasised, saying this are fundamental issues we need to look at.

Commenting on the issues affecting his constituency, he said there’s need to have a proper structure at the Mandory Lower Basic School, adding that the current structures of the school is own by a Madrassa, hence the Ministry of Education should look into the issue.

He said Dobo Lower Basic School which is 9km away from Salikenne needs to be upgraded to a Basic cycle school in order to avoid children taking the risk going up to Salikenne.

According to him, students of the UTG are given scholarships but they lack the necessary educational tools. The scholarships government is giving, he went on, lack the necessary educational package such as laptop and other materials.

The government of the day including the parliament, he said, took actions to make sure that human right commission is launched in the country in ensuring that people’s rights are protected in the country.

“Mentally ill people are human beings, thus they deserve the right to be protected. There is only one psychiatric centre in the country and there is no protection in the centre. In fact, the centre should be decentralised to ensure ease access.”

The mentally ill people, he said, deserve better live. “They don’t need to be treated like people who’re not socially important again. I believe if they are supported they can recover because every one of us here is mentally affected, either ceremonially or other issues.”

He added: “Climate change is real and we have seen that our little forest cover is threatened by hackers or forest butchers in the name of so-called economic gain; thus it need to be stopped. The Ministry of Environment needs to come up with holistic approach in order to ensure that the forests that are destroyed are being recovered.”

The Dobo Forest in Central Badibou, he noted, is all cut down and “we are almost left with a mere bushes. In fact, we don’t even have any forest cover in NBR.”