May 3, 2017, 11:43 AM
Youths working under the timber business have again appealed to President Yahya Jammeh for him to consider the re-opening of the wood re-export trade.
The youths yesterday made this appeal in an interview with this reporter at their various loading points.
The desperate-looking youths were found sitting at empty loading points as this reporter met them while anxiously waiting for presidential consideration.
Speaking in an interview with one Abubacarr Barrow, a 24-year-old youth in the timber business, who also works at Munduk Trading Enterprise, explained that since the date of the expiration of the re-export, 31st December 2012, they have been undergoing serious hardships.
“Most of the youths are experiencing a lot of difficulties in pursuing their development aspirations, especially those who were employed to load timber into trucks,” he stated.
According to him, for such youths, loading was their main sources of income and livelihood.
“The timber business has definitely discouraged most of them from thinking to go to Europe, through the back-way and decided to invest in The Gambia for the benefit of the country,” said Abubacarr.
While stating that since last year thousand of youths were forced to sit down without being engaged in anything productive, he appealed to the government through the President whose office is also overseeing the Ministry of Forestry to come to their aid.
He further stated that the youths of the country are very much committed and ready to work for the best interest of the country.
“We are aware of all kinds of gesture and the contribution of the President in encouraging the youths to work for the best interest of our motherlands, but yet still we the youths in the timber business also need his re-consideration,” he added.
Musa Suso, a 30-year-old youth, who works at Suso International Company as Assistant Manager, also lamented their frustrations, saying the banning of timber re-exportation has seriously affected the Gambian youths. He said their company alone has created job opportunities for fifty youths who are now out of work.
He further stated that stopping of the re-export would lead the youths to again focus their attention on the back way to Europe, though something risky to do.
He said they have begun to experience the worst part of the temporal banning of the wood re-exportation when unidentified youths recently broke into their office.
“Our office files, computers, chain saw, laptop, among others, were either destroyed or stolen,” he lamented.
He said the matter has been reported to the Yundum Police Station, who also visited the scene. He then called for more job employment creation for young people to keep them at peace.
Many other youths who spoke to this reporter under condition of anonymity expressed similar sentiment, as they appealed to President Jammeh to look into their plight.