BAC Chairman, Yanks Darboe has his hands full presiding over a Council that is home to the highest number of “poor people” in The Gambia. That's according to the World Development Indicators and the Staff Estimates of the 2015 and 2020 Integrated Household Surveys.
According to an article by a World Bank Economist on Poverty Trends in The Gambia, Brikama has 307,501 poor people or 48 percent of the poor which is the highest in the country.. This is based on the international poverty line of $2.15. Brikama is the hub of the resource rich West Coast Region of the Gambia, yet home to the poorest of the country.
This means an estimated 48 percent of people living in Brikama earn below D1,503 per month to meet the basic cost of living estimate the report highlighted.
Nationally, data from the household survey of 2020/21 indicates that over half of the population of The Gambia (53.4%) or 1.1 million people were poor compared to the 2015 data which had 48.6% of Gambians as poor. This shows an increase of 4.8 percentage. However, the 2015 poverty level of 48.6 percent was on course to decline to 45.8 percent in 2019. This progress was hampered by Covid-19 pandemic, and the incidents of poverty increased by 4.8 percent instead.
The report shows that the country's poverty phenomenon remains largely rural with those typically engaged in agricultural sector and those in urban and often densely populated towns like Brikama are involved in the informal service sector.
Brikama is the largest settlement in the resource-rich West Coast Region, but due incompetent and corrupt leadership of the council, it remains home to the poorest in the country. New BAC Chairman Yankuba Darboe has a herculean task in his hands to reverse the poverty trend in the West Coast.