Sep 2, 2011, 2:57 PM
of the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committees (PAC/PEC) of the
National Assembly Tuesday embarked on a field visit to World Bank-funded
project sites in the country.
Yesterday, the lawmakers visited the Tanji Birds Reserve, where they were received by the park manager, Sutai Sanneh, who expressed delight in receiving them.
Briefing the legislators about the park, Sutai Sanneh said the park was funded by the World Bank and the UNDP and, since inception, the park had attracted lots of people from all over the world.
“We have 25 different species of birds ranging from the Slender Relle gull, to Royal Tern, Casptan Tern and the Grey headed gull, and 61 different family species.”
He added that most of the birds came from America, Europe and other African countries to settle there.
“The park has attracted a lot of bird-watchers, who come to look at the different species we have, and they are always amazed and excited anytime they visit because there are always new species added by the time they come again.”
Sanneh also told the lawmakers that since then the park administration had been working to ensure the birds stay in the park, and they would continue to look for other species to add to the ones they already have.
Asked by Assembly members about the constraints they are facing in managing the park, the park manager said “the main problem is electricity, soil erosion and water”.
“The other main issue is maintaining the species,” he said, adding that they initially had 7 different species, but now they have got only 2 species.
“We have salty water and it is always hard for the birds to drink that water. And soil erosion is another big problem we are faced with, because anytime erosion would occur, it would wash away all the vegetation in which the birds normally lay their eggs.
“They either run away or stop laying their eggs again, and sometimes lay their eggs in mysterious places where it is always hard for them to find them.”
Lawmakers later commended the staff of the park, saying they were overwhelmed by what they had seen, and “this tells a lot how committed and hardworking the people of the park are, especially the Park manager”, who frankly shared information on the condition of the park.
Also, yesterday, the country’s lawmakers visited the Abuko Agricultural Office, where they were received by the monitoring and evaluation officer, Ramatoulie Hydara-Sanyang, who was impressed about the visit of the National Assembly members.
She said the visit was a clear manifestation of how “hardworking and determined the country’s lawmakers are”.
Mrs Sanyang informed them that there are 13 countries within the sub-region that are involved in the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP), which is a 10-year project of two phases.
Based on the successes of the first five years, after that the country might qualify for phase two, she said.
Mrs Sanyang further told lawmakers that WAAPP Gambia was supposed to have closed in June 2016, but due to some problems “within the World Bank themselves”, they adjusted the closing date to December 2016.
She took the visiting lawmakers through the components that WAAPP-Gambia covers, saying the target was 100,000 beneficiaries, which WAAPP-Gambia is supposed to reach before the five-year period, but as of now they could proudly say they had reached 136,417 beneficiaries so far, and that gives them 136 per cent achievement of the target.
Mrs Sanyang further stated that the office had sponsored 53 students, ranging from diploma to PhD level; some have graduated from the college and university.
She said others have since gone back and resumed work with them, and they still sponsor people to be updated and be well-equipped in their various departments of work.
The lawmakers commended the WAAP office for their hard work, and for all the benefits they had brought and are still bringing to those in need.