SANDO director calls on gov’t to reopen rural weekly markets

Jun 9, 2020, 11:01 AM | Article By: Sulayman Waan

Haruna Jallow, second assistant director for Sami and Niani Development Organisation (SANDO) has called on government to reopen the rural weekly markets (lumos) as the urban markets are opened to relax the covid-19 restriction measures.

Jallow made this remark and shared with this medium on Sunday June 7. He further described government opening the urban markets while rural weekly markets remain closed as discrimination and selective justice.

“What daylight discrimination by the government of the day. How can the urban markets be reopened and ignore the rural weekly markets. This is not wise to be honest,” he asserted.

It could be recalled that last week government relaxed the covid-19 restriction by reopening the markets and places of worship.

However, he said if Gambians are really serious in the fight against covid-19, then there is need to ensure fairness and justice in the way government imposed measures to combat the pandemic.

 The rural development campaigner described government’s reopen of urban markets while refusal to reopen the rural weekly markets as counterproductive to the WHO recommended guidelines.

“I would recommend for the government to reopen the rural weekly markets too because it's where many rural communities rely for survival just the way urban dwellers survive in the markets,” he noted.

Jallow, also a teacher said reopening of the rural weekly markets will enable provincial dwellers to access certain basic commodities as well earn income to sustain their families.

“If the border is well monitored as claimed by the authorities, then why not reopen the weekly markets too. And use the officials and officers stationed at the borders as backup for more regular testing for any possible case,” he opined. 

Jallow explained that if the covid-19 activities are well monitored as claimed; therefore, why not government reopen the weekly markets too and use frontline officers in the rural area to conduct regular testing so as to know if any case surfaces.

He called on all National Assembly Members (NAMs) from the rural constituencies to defend their people’s right in this trying time as well as against all forms of discrimination toward rural communities.

 He further urged all NAMs from rural Gambia to defend and speak for their people in order to maintain the respect rural dwellers have for them.