Real estate company according to Cambridge dictionary “is a company that buys, sells, and rents properties.”
In recently year in the Gambia, witnessed the crazy rise of real estate companies that compete for any available space or corner in the country like the Europeans scrambled for Africa during the colonisation era.
Real estates companies in the Gambia mostly put more attention in buying vast land area; divide it into smaller pieces and either sell them or develop and sell them. These lands include forest areas, agricultural lands, gardens of mango and cashew trees, which are brutally cut down. These activities do not only posses threat to the environment and the climate, but also to agricultural production and productivity.
It is just “talking for its sake” that real estate companies are “here to help the poor. In the contrary, they are here to strengthen the gap between rich and the poor by giving the rich more opportunity to buy every convenient part of the Gambia. One rich individual in the Gambia almost owns 6 or more houses in the real estates.
The poor only suffers in these activities most of their agricultural lands or gardens are sold or taking away by the state to either for self perpetuating ends.
In Mandinary the state snatched away rice fields of poor farmer whose earning solely depends on season agriculture and turned into a fuel store without any meaningful alternation given to them which also threaten their food security and income generating opportunities.
In Faraba Banta, rice fields of poor villagers were also snatched away and giving to a capitalist mining company to mine. This does not only threaten their food security and income generating opportunities like in Mandinary, but led to the brutal shooting of three sovereign citizens of the Gambia by one of the state institution of intimidation (the police).
The story continues in Gunjur, and Sanyang were the state unwisely gives licences to land and other natural resources grabbing capitalists to min at the expense of the sovereign Gambians.
However, the state should make sure our resources are well managed and have the capacity to min it for the benefit of every Gambia to better strengthen our tax base economy and reduce the dire tax load on the citizenry.
Finally, forest cashew and mango tree gardens and other agricultural lands should be registered to the state for preservation to not only protect the environment, but prevent the decline of agriculture.