Saturday, April 17, 2010

Assembly winds-up first meeting in 2010

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA(MB)- Deputies at the National Assembly Wednesday wrapped-up their first sitting in the 2010 Legislative Year with debates on various issues, ranging from development to other cross-cutting issues affecting the people in their constituencies.

The adjournment debate, which is a tradition at the National Assembly, came after a marathon sitting of the lawmakers in their first meeting of the 2010 Legislative Year. The forum provided the parliamentarians the platform to bring to the notice of the authorities various issues affecting them and their people such as the need for ministers to attend the adjournment debate where a wide range of issues of national interest were discussed. They also raised the issue of feeder roads construction and building of major health centres in certain areas of the country. The lawmakers also urged the Interior Ministry to work harder in ensuring that there is constant security everywhere in the country.

Hon. Netty Baldeh, the National Assembly member for Tumana expressed concern over the condition of the Fatoto-Basse Road. ?I have always been among those people who have defended that project here, but it is taking time now and I urge the contractor to measure up to standard to ensure quick dispensation of the project," he stated.

He then suggested that the road be re-graveled to improve it for users. Hon. Sellu Bah, the National Assembly member for Basse, like the previous speakers, commended the Gambian leader for his goodwill message during the recent State Opening of the National Assembly. He described the message as clear, simple and straight forward. He also re-echoed the president's call for attitudinal change. "We must be seen loving and working for our nation, see it advancing. We should not expect any other nation to come and develop ours" for us. We must be very patriotic to our nation and to our president as he is doing all he can to develop this country. It should therefore be the responsibility of every Gambian to contribute to national development so that The Gambia would be seen rising from where we are. Though we are rising, what we need is fast rising," Hon. Bah said.

Honorable Babanding KK Daffeh, the National Assembly member for Kiang Central expressed the need for area councils to provide public toilets, especially at the markets. He also highlighted the need to provide standard car parks in Serrekunda and its suburb of Tippa-Garrage for commuters and lorry drivers, adding that the women vendors in these areas find it very difficult to settle around the market to sell their produce. He added that the women are subjected to harassment by the municipal police who usually send them away.

Road construction
Hon. Sellu Bah, the National Assembly member for Basse also expressed concern on the condition of the Basse-Fatoto Road saying "the rainy season is fast approaching and I urge the Ministry of Works, Construction and Infrastructure and the National Road Authority to consider the condition of the Basse-Fatoto and Koina roads". These roads, according to him, would be difficult to access during the rainy season. He also expressed concern over the condition of the Laminkoto-Passimas Road, describing it as very important as it links very important destinations like Sami in the Central River Region (CRR) and villages in Wuli through Sandu in the Upper River Region (URR). He lamented that the road is in a very deplorable condition.

Hon. Sainey Mbye, the National Assembly member for Upper Saloum called on the Ministry of Works, Construction and Infrastructure to consider rehabilitating some feeder roads in his constituency.

Hon. Momdou LK Sanneh, the minority leader and member for Kiang West expressed concern over the slow pace of work on Mandina-ba-Soma Road, recalling that the ministry responsible did refute rumours that work at the said site has not been suspended. He stated that his recent visit to the site shows no signs of progress of work and urged the responsible ministry to ensure that work progresses.

Hon. Sainey Mbye, NAM for Upper Saloum, urged the authorities to provide at least one major health centre in his area, saying the only hospitals they could access are Kuntaur, Bansang and Farafenni.

Hon. Foday Jallow, the National Assembly member for Niamina East, like the member for Upper Saloum, also expressed concern on what he described as lack of a major health centre in his area. He stated that the only major referral hospital close to the people of his area is Bansang, which is about 100 kilometers away, and that the road is too bad.

The National Assembly members commended the Ministry of Interior for the improved security countrywide. Speaker after speaker unanimously agreed that there has been a drop in the number of robbery, stealing and other crimes in the country in recent times.

Hon. Lamin MM Bojang, the National Assembly member for Kombo East, also joined his colleagues in commending the Ministry of Interior for providing three major security checkpoints in his constituency. He described it as a move in the right direction, which was welcomed by his people.

Water and electricity
Hon. Sheriff Abba Sanyang, the National Assembly member for Foni Kansala, said the need for the provision of clean and potable drinking water for every community is paramount. He stated that there are some communities in his area who still need clean and potable drinking water. "I don't think access to water should be a problem in this country now. I called on the line ministry responsible for water to consider these affected villages in my area," the said.

Hon. Saikou Susso, the National Assembly member for Kantora also appealed for the provision of potable drinking water for his people. He cited a village that has a population of over 1000 inhabitants and yet has only one local pump that supplies water. Susso also used the platform to appeal to the Ministry of Energy to consider the major villages as regards providing electricity.

Hon. Susso dwelled on the importance of timely availability of fertilizer for farmers. He said: "If this is done, there will be bumper harvest." He also appealed that considerate prices should be charged for fertilizer whenever it is available so that it could be affordable for every one.

Hon. Pa Jallow, the NAM for Jarra Central appealed for a better market for women to enable them sell their produce. He further suggested that either the government revamps the Gambia Public Transport Corporation or dissolve it since taxpayers money are being used to pay the staff whilst they are not working. Other contributors during the debate include Hon. Alhagie Sillah, the National Assembly member for Banjul North; Hon. Abdoulie Saine, NAM for Banjul Central; Hon. Momodou M5 Jallow, NAM for Upper Fulladu West, Hon. Kebba Gaye, NAM for Jokadu, Hon. Seedy Njie, a nominated NAM, and Hon. Kalifa Jammeh, NAM for Bakau among others.
Source; Observer

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