Banjul North NAM engages constituents on covid-19

Jun 4, 2020, 10:30 AM | Article By: Ismaila Sonko

The National Assembly Member (NAM) for Banjul North, Ousman Sillah on Saturday was out and about in the streets of his constituency engaging people on covid-19 and its related issues.

The move was his second constituency outing since the outbreak of the pandemic in The Gambia in March 2020. 

Sillah during sensitisation called on people not to downplay the existence of coronavirus and challenged people to adhere to the precautionary measures as directed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health.

This, he believes, would break the chain of transmission of the highly contagious and deadly virus.

The constituency outreach covered the three wards in Banjul North Constituency, with a public address (PA) system mounted on a moving vehicle. Hon. Sillah emphasised the existence of the covid-19 virus in the country and the need for people to take it seriously.

“As your elected representative, it is my duty and to serve your best interest. I know that the covid-19 virus is a disease that can harm you. This is the reason why I am out and about this morning to inform you the people of my constituency that covid-19 is real and is here in The Gambia. And as such we need to do everything possible as individuals and as a community to contain and curb its spread,” said Hon. Sillah.

The Banjul North lawmaker maintained that he was also out to hear from the people what their concerns are in terms of the enforcement and compliance with the regulations and any other challenges which they feel he should be informed  about for immediate actions.

 “The good news is that we do not have many cases as at now, compared with other countries, including our immediate neighbour, Senegal. We have only registered 26 cases so far with one death, 21 recoveries and 4 active cases under treatment. We wish and pray that the number does not get any worse than this but we should also not be complacent by not taking heed of the precautionary measures and ensure social distancing and regular hand washing,” he said.

At Gloucester Street, a group of young men engaged the Banjul North representative on issues relating to the closure of mosques and food aid distribution. On the mosques, they argued that the state should consider re-openings since markets and transport vehicles are allowed to carry people.

Responding, Sillah said he had no issues with the re-opening of places of worship, adding that people are advised to observe social distancing and hand washing in order to stop the spread of the virus, which is transmitted from human to human.

“There is no problem if religious leaders can agree to arrange and ensure social distancing, hand washing with disinfectants and for worshippers to come with their own praying mats in the case of mosques,” said Hon. Sillah.

Regarding complaints about government food aid, Sillah said he would do the necessary engagement and follow-up at the level of the state institution responsible for the coordination of the distribution.

At Box Bar Road, some concerned individual raised the issue of weak enforcement by the state security and local government authorities at public spaces and markets as well as the impact of the regulations on livelihoods. “I have taken note of these concerns and will take them up with the right officials and at the right place,” Sillah assured.

At Tobacco Road or Campama Estate, the Banjul North representative was engaged in discussions, which centered on social distancing and regular hand washing with pockets of the elderly and young people.

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