Jun 12, 2013, 10:46 AM
The World Food Programme (WFP) regional director for West and Central Africa, Abdou Dieng, a Senegalese national, Wednesday arrived in The Gambia and visited project intervention sites in the West Coast Region on Thursday, accompanied by the WFP Country Director and other WFP officials in the country.
The visit was undertaken to better understand the humanitarian situation and partner in the joint efforts towards assisting communities and populations in The Gambia, as well as advocating for zero hunger.
It was also part of his visit to meet government officials and donors, as well as visit a project site in Janack Lower Basic School in the West Coast Region.
WFP started supporting school meals in Janack Lower Basic School in 1996, around the same time the school was established.
Janack School is among the 24 schools where the WFP country office is implementing a cash-based transfer pilot.
The pilot consists of the caterer model and community procurement model, and Janack LBS is part of the community procurement model.
The model seeks to create community ownership and management of school meals, promote the local markets and diversify school meals.
The food management committees are responsible for procurement of food to serve it to the children.
Janack has 11 food management committee members, 8 of whom are the communities that the school serves.
The headmaster of Janack Lower Basic School, Basiru Colley, commended WFP for their intervention in helping his school to “enjoy so many facilities”.
He also highlighted the numerous developments that have been made possible, thanks to WFP.
Mr Colley also spoke of the unity and community participation that exists in Janack LBS, while he commended the mothers’ club who are very supportive of the improvement of the school.
He assured the WFP of the best use of the materials given to the school.
Joko Tamba, a member of the mothers’ club in Janack LBS, also thanked WFP for their continued support towards the welfare of the school children.
She highlighted some of the constraints they face ranging from water, to bakery, milling machine and other social amenities.
Speaking at the school, Abdou Dieng expressed appreciation and commended the community of Janack for their hard work.
He said he was impressed by what he saw in the school in implementing home-grown feeding, in a bid to boost agricultural produce.
He renewed his commitment to supporting the efforts of the community of Janack.