Hamat bah lays foundation stone for eco tourism park, camp in CRR, URR /Foundation stones for eco tourism park, camp, laid in CRR, URR

Jun 23, 2020, 12:25 PM | Article By: Njie Baldeh

As part of the National Development Plan (NDP) of The Gambia government, the minister of Tourism and Culture, Hamat N.K. Bah, Friday 19 June 2020, laid the foundation stone for the eco tourism park and tourism camp in Kunkilin in the Central River Region and Sotuma Samba in Jimara.

Minister Bah while presiding thanked all those who attended the ceremonies. With the threat of Covid-19, he said, it is his ministry’s responsibility to make sure that the projects kick off.

Minister Bah disclosed that the project was a promise made by President Barrow during his last tour, saying the promise has been fulfilled.

“I want to urge the contractors to employ people who live around these areas in the implementation of the project instead of bringing people from Kombos,” he urged.

Minister Bah said the Ministry of Tourism under the NDP through its satellite institutes, such as The Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI), graduate over 400 youths every year and they are all employed. He added that they wanted to make sure that they use the two areas as a training center for the youths.

Abubacarr Camara, acting director general, Gambia Tourism Board said it is another milestone development in the history of tourism in The Gambia. He said Kunkilin Eco Tourism Park is part of the five community based tourism projects marked by the national blueprint of the government of The Gambia.

Camara acknowledged that over the years, it has been a big problem having distance accommodation facilities up country, adding that this has really affected the promotion and development of tourism in rural Gambia and domestic tourism in particular.

The acting GTBoard director general added that the new initiative by the government of The Gambia will serve as a high class facility, but will be used as a benchmark for all other facilities within up country.

“As we speak, most of the facilities up country are below standard and the GTBoard used to find it difficult for proprietors and owners to meet standard, even after several inspections were done.”

Abba Sanyang, the governor of the Central River Region, also pointed out that the facilities are the property of everybody. He added that if they work in isolation and everybody thinks in their own ways, it would be difficult to achieve the objectives of the projects.

He hinted that Kunkilin Eco Tourism Parks would be a very attractive center.

Dawda Njang, director general, Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI), said the role of the national institution is to develop the human capacity in the sector. “GTHI can only welcome this initiative because it will help enhance the employment opportunity for the young people they are training.”

“Just like the GTBoard, we also have our target in line with the National Development Plan. We had to decentralise training because for the past 30 years, we have been only training on campus, but in 2017, we started two annexations, one in LRR and one in Janjanbureh.”

Hassoum Ceesay, the director general of National Center for Arts and Culture (NCAC), also stated that building such hotels in the provinces would contribute a lot in promoting our cultures, adding our great ancestors who passed through these areas have contributed a lot in terms of our cultures.

Samba Bah, deputy governor of URR, thanked the Tourism Ministry for the project, saying

it is another achievement for the people of URR.

He said the project has come at the right time and is all geared towards national development.

He therefore called the people of URR to make best use of the hotel, adding that this has shown the commitment of President Barrows’s government.