On December 4, Gambians went to the polls and re-elected President Barrow to steer the affairs of the country in the next five years. Now expectations are high for the Gambian leader to fulfill the promises he made during election campaigns.
However, the residents of CRR are among the first people to task President Barrow to bring development to their doorsteps in order to improve their living conditions following decades long in hardship.
“Provision of safe and clean drinking water should be one of President Barrow’s first interventions in CRR. Because many communities in this region still depend on open wells to get drinkable water. And some those wells are about 50 metres deep. Residents have to use domestic animals such as donkeys to draw water from well on daily basis,” Gibiriel Dem, resident of Fitu Fulla in the Sami District told The Point.
In this regard, he said government should prioritise access to clean drinking water to the residents of CRR.
Speaking further, Mr. Dem called on President-elect Barrow to provide skill centres to CRR youth to make sure they acquire life skills in the region without travelling far.
“The entire CRR is without a skill centre, many youth who did not finish school or do not go to school find it almost impossible to acquire life skills because one has to travel outside the region to get access to a skill centre,” he said.
He said building skill centres would minimise youth rural-urban migration as well as serve as an alternative to school drop outs.
Omar Jammeh, rural development advocate cum youth activist, said there is a greater need for government to provide integrated agro-model system for CRR youth to obtain training on integrated agro system as well as produce agro value chain in the region.
The prominent youth activist further called on President-elect Barrow to endow CRR youth with multipurpose life skill center. He added: “For now, there is no recognised institution offering designed skill training for CRR youth. Having one establish that responds to the need of the market shall go a long way for a sustainable rural development.”
Mariama Cham, resident of Brikamaba in Lower Fulladu West, CRR- south said: “I will be grateful if plans are put in place to boost rice farming at Jahally-Pacharr Rice Field through support of modern farming implements and access to grants for rural rice farmers in the region especially youth venturing into Agriculture.”
Ms. Cham also called on government to provide adequate electricity supply in the region to boost the business sectors, saying many businesses persons rely highly on electricity supply do business.
Musa Bah, resident of Wassu in the Niani District said there is a need for government to develop farming in the CRR. He noted that if all the rice fields in CRR-north are developed and cultivated as expected, it can feed the whole nation.