Madi Jobarteh

Chief Servant Adama Barrow just concluded his two-week long meet the people’s tour where he made several promises. Reading various media reports I got to understand that these promises form part of 42 projects that are identified under his National Development Plan.

Since the days of Jawara and then Yaya Jammeh we have these presidential countrywide tours where numerous promises are made. In most cases these promises are not fulfilled but get repeated at every tour.

This trend has to stop. But if only citizens begin to actively identify these promises in order to track their implementation.

Citizens in each and every village, town, ward, district or region must begin to list these promises made to them so that after the tour they start the process of following up with the relevant Government institutions as well as their National Assembly Member and Local Government Chairperson, Governor and Mayor to ensure that the promises that the Chief Servant gave them are fulfilled.

This is the only way we will end the usual practice of empty promises imposed on citizens by politicians. This is the only way we will make our presidents honest and effective. This is the only way citizens will ensure that no politicians and public officers take them for a ride.

Therefore, to start that process, I have gone through various media reports to capture some of the promises made by the Chief Servant Adam Barrow and some of his ministers during the tour. I urge you to also go back to those reports to identify which promise was made to your village or town or ward or district or region. We must not let Adama Barrow treat us as how DK Jawara and Yaya Jammeh treated us.

Here are some of the promises of the President:

1. To embark on a massive roads, drainage and sewage construction exercise in Banjul and Kanifing
2. Announced that Ministry of Works, through Gamworks, has already contracted projects for roads construction in Banjul
3. To construct the Basse-Koina road
4. To bridge the Basse-Wuli crossing point
5. To construct the Fatoto bridge
6. To construct the Chamoi bridge
7. To provide an agricultural project focusing on irrigation farming and rice cultivation for the people of Upper River Region through the help of the French who would arrive in a week’s time after his announcement
8. To provide Wellingara with adequate water and electricity supply
9. Announced that NAWEC has signed a 22-million-dalasi project to end water scarcity in the country
10. To provide women horticulturists modern irrigation systems for year-round vegetable production
11. To build fish processing factories and storage facilities in Tanji and Brufut that would create more than 20, 000 jobs. Work to begin 2019.
12. To construct a feeder road to connect all coastal communities from Brufut all through to Sanyang
13. To construct the road from Brufut Gamtel to Ghana Town soon
14. To construct a standard bridge between Banjul and Barra starting in 2019. Work will last for 4 years and the bridge has a guarantee period of 100 years
15. To make Jarra and Kiang the first to benefit from national electricity roadmap.
16. A $200 million power transmission and distribution funding is secured to provide countrywide electrification programme
17. Tourism Minister Hamat Bah announced the building of a hotel in Basse
18. Minister of Health Dr. Isatou Touray promised the Sinchu Baliya a minor health facility with an ambulance
19. Minster of Education Claudiana Cole promised Kombo North a new and accessible senior secondary school for the district if the people can provide land.
20. Free public Wi-Fi and 7000 smart streetlights for Brikama
21. Wi-Fi navigation systems with weather forecast capabilities for all fishing boats in Kombo South
22. SMS (text message) confirmation after paying tax to GRA or Area Councils
23. A central digital platform for registration of all compounds in the country
24. A 24-hour emergency hotline system
25. Twenty boreholes that would provide water to 85,000 people across the country
26. A digital register that would register all pregnant women in the country to enable health workers to monitor, respond and send alerts to them.
27. Fertilizer subsidy to farmers

What was promised to your village or town or region? Find out and start tracking the fulfilment of the promises. Promises, when made, are to be kept and not broken!

CSOs and NAMs and other stakeholder must also follow up on these promises. Let us help Barrow fulfil his promises!

For the Gambia Our Homeland