The Minister for Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Bai Lamin Jobe and members of his senior team officials, on Friday 26TH June 2020 visits ongoing People’s Republic of China (PRC) -Gambia Government sponsored $82 Million bridges and roads project under construction in Basse and Fatoto in the Upper River Region of the country.
The site visit and meeting was meant for the Minister and the project team to see and have first-hand information on the implementation progress, to note and resolve any challenges facing the projects.
Earlier in the day, a steering committee meeting was held comprising of different stakeholders, GAMTEL, NAWEC, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Finance, The National Roads Authority, contractor, consultant, workers, URR Governor and the community of Chinese construction company camp in Basse, Mansajang Kunda.
Addressing the stakeholders, Minister Jobe described the URR projects as one of the fastest projects ever in the Gambia from conceptualization to implementation for a short span of barely three years reaching 60% completion. Mr. Jobe added that the completion of the projects will impact positively on the lives of the people of URR.
Minister Jobe implored on all to redouble efforts to keep the momentum high. “What I am hearing on the ground seems the progress is going fast and on track. We should maintain the speed,” he said.
According to Jobe, there might be some issues critical to the projects such as compensation for the affected persons and families living around the projects’ area, but optimistic that the projects would finish on time.
On completion, the projects will provide vital trading links to boost commerce, regional integration between the Gambia and the sub-region in particular the Senegalese regions of Wellingara, Kolda, Tamba Kunda and beyond.
Minister Jobe finally appealed to the truck drivers at the projects to always drive with care as there are other road users.
On his part, Mr. Mod K. Ceesay, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, said their role and responsibility is to Steer Committee members to remains the same, which is to remove bottlenecks and to ensure proper monitoring of the projects.
He called on affected persons and families eligible for compensation to have their proper documents in order to receive compensations as soon as possible.
“We will continue visiting the project sites to ensure quality and efficient delivery of the projects,” said PS Ceesay
Ms. Fanta B.S. Manneh, Governor of Upper River Region, described the visit as timely as it would avail the team the opportunity to know the progresses and challenges facing the projects.
“These projects are important as it would connect URR region with other regions and the country as a whole to the outside world,” she said.
Feng Zhuode, a Chinese lead consultant of the projects, promised timely completion of the projects and better quality standard.
The team also considers the working conditions and plight of the workers to put proper mechanisms in resolving the issue as soon as possible.
By Lamin Njie
Assistant Information Officer, Ministry of Works