#Article (Archive)

US Embassy empowers Gambian communities

Jan 5, 2011, 1:26 PM

The recent handing over of 175 solar lamps to the rural communities of Juffureh and Albreda, which was purchased via the US Embassy’s Self- Help Project is, indeed, a good move, because it brings light to the two provincial communities.

Energy is a basic necessity for the life of every human being, so this project has come at the right time for the two communities, and we urge them to take proper care of the solar lamps.

We are also pleased with the initiative taken by the villagers, for each person in the village to contribute D1 daily to be kept in a fund to replace batteries and also purchase additional lamps in case  of any damage.

In fact, the village light committees already set up in the two villages will be able to use the fund to purchase new lamps or batteries for the sustainability of the project.

Another good thing about this project is that the villagers were shown how to operate the solar lamps, and this will greatly help them to maintain the materials donated to them.

This provision of solar lamps to the two rural communities is in line with giving them what they really need.

Indeed, it is high time that community-driven projects addressed the felt needs and aspirations of the rural poor in the Gambia , instead of giving them things that are not their priority.

It is always good for NGOs and companies to consult the communities before implementing projects in their areas.

Meanwhile, we call on all potential donors to emulate the gesture of the U.S. Embassy in Banjul’s Self-Help Project.