BAC laments lack of women participation at Gunjur VDC Annual General Meeting
Officials from the Brikama Area Council (BAC) Sunday during the much awaited VDC Annual General Meeting have urged Kabilos in Gunjur to send women in the VDC to ensure equal representation in steering the affairs of the village.
They emphasised on the importance of female participation which has been lacking for the past years and has grossly affected development in key areas of the community. One of the delegates from the council committee on VDC Wandifa Drammeh, a community development officer deliberated on the roles of the VDC and the importance attached to having a diverse group which consists of all sections of the society. Gunjur VDC executive came under immense criticism lately after failing to hold an AGM for the past 4 years. After series of demands from the community to handover as their mandate expires, they eventually succumb and presented a report of activities which supposedly covers their tenure of office.
The community centre was inundated with more than a hundred people majority of who are agitated youths ready to grill the executive on failure to abide by the constitution and hold them accountable for the funds meant for the development of the community.
While being cross-examined by the crowd after his report, the chairman Demba Jobe Touray said they couldn’t hold the annual general meeting because of what he called ‘crisis in the VDC. He added that majority of the people sent by their Kabilos in the VDC left because their expectations were not met. “Serving in the VDC is a voluntary service for the community; most people couldn’t sacrifice their time to do voluntary work and therefore left all the work with the executive which was tedious on our side”.
He highlighted some constraints which contributed to the delay which includes the role of the VDC not well understood or regarded as entry point for all development activities within the village some of which were carried out by the Alikalo instead of the VDC, reduction in the number of members which requires him to step in, dysfunctional communication team and lack of female representation.
Touray admitted to the flaws on their side which has to do with proper documentation of all financial transactions for the purpose of accountability. He however made recommendations for the incoming VDC which includes female representation, Kabilos sending representatives who are willing and have the best interest of the village at heart, remuneration for the executive and training for the new VDC as soon as they take office, amongst others.
The crowd went into a roar after the treasurer and overseer of the beach committee Sanna Ba Darboe presented a financial report of millions of Dalasis that many described as bogus and called for the report to be audited by an independent financial auditor to authenticate his report. In his defence, Sanna Ba said the beach committee has immensely contributed to a lot of village activities through donations and the money generated is also used in the construction of new sites at the beach and renovation of the old ones.
The village Alkalo Ba Giki Darboe commended Brikama Area Council officials for the timely intervention while calling for participation in the village development committee to be based on commitment, honesty and know-how.
A new VDC is expected in a fourth night as recommended by the council of committee on VDC prior to which Kabilos should identify representatives. The committee also assured of training for the new VDC to avert the repeat of the crisis faced by the present VDC.