Oct 29, 2012, 11:34 AM
This community sensitization component of the Trans-Gambia Corridor project was contracted to the Gambia Family Planning Association, GFPA, for implementation.
The GFPA deals with sensitization of the community, the construction workers and the general road users with regards to road safety issues during and after the construction, and to health and disease prevention of HIV/AIDS and STIs.
It would be recalled that the Gambia government has been allocated grant funds from the African Development Bank for the construction of the Trans-Gambia Bridge at Bamba Tenda-Yelli Tenda in the Lower River Region and North Bank Region of the country, and for cross border improvements.
The government through the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, has allocated part of the funds for the component contracted to the GFPA for implementation.
The road safety awareness and education campaign would target children, cyclists, pedestrians and public transport operators in particular, and address the avoidance of road crashes and the safe use of the bridge.
Awareness campaigns with a focus on health and the prevention of transmissible diseases would target particularly communities residing within the project influence zone, construction workers and long distance drivers.
It was against this background that the GFPA hosted the launching of the Trans-Gambia corridor project - HIV/STI, Road safety and gender awareness campaign.
In his launching statement, Minister Balla Garba Jahumpa expressed pleasure at the launching of Trans-Gambia Corridor Project in connection with HIV/Aids.
The construction of the Trans-Gambia Bridge is a continuation of the commitment of the country’s leadership to address the needs of the Gambian people, he said.
According to Minister Jahumpa, the contract was signed in December 2014 and funded by the African Development Bank.
The Works minister further said the project has various components, one of which is the construction of the bridge, which is 942-metre long, 16.5-metre high. The other component is the construction of feeder roads that would give people and farmers access to their fields.
It also has construction of markets on both sides of the river on the North and South bank, he said, adding that another component is the environmental aspect, “so that it could be friendly to the environment and to our nation, and as well the component of HIV/Aids and road safety.”
The Works minister noted that the construction of the Trans-Gambia Bridge would facilitate the movement of goods and people and other services, but also it would increase the number of people that would use this facility.
The coordinator of the project, Lamin Bojang, said the project was mainly targeted to address the movement of the people and goods along the Trans-Gambia Corridor, especially people in The Gambia and beyond.
He said the launching of the project was to enhance the people’s understanding of the project.
He thanked the Gambian leader for making the project successful, as well as the GFPA, NRA and Ministry of MOICI for their contribution in one way or the other in the realization of the project.
Ousman Badjie, executive director of National Aids Secretariat, described the project as “very important not only for the people of The Gambia but also beyond.”
said the project came at the right place, as LRR is considered to have been
recording the highest number of HIV/Aids cases, and “the construction of this
bridge would go a long way in helping to reduce the diseases in the area.”