Editorial: “Backway”: Lest we forget, 8th November 2021
Exactly two years ago today, about 200 youths, 39 of those from the sprawling coast town of Gunjur left the shores of Gunjur onboard a wooden fishing boat bound for Spain, through the Mediterranean Sea for pastures greener.
Gunjur is about 1600 kilometres from mainland Spain and boat journeys are expected to take about 7 days, all being well. From the moment this particular boat left the Gambian soil, there has been no seighting, or any word from any of the passengers of the fateful boat.
As the country continue to experience a surge in young men, women and of recent, children jumping on these fishing boats full of hope to make it to Europe for “better” life for themselves, parents, families and friends, 200 others have been missing for exactly two years today.
It remains a mistery what really happened to this boat and the two hundred young men and women who boarded the boat in search of greener pastures in Europe.
Lest we forget, our hope and prayers is that wherever they may be, we pray that God be with them and hope that someday, the parents and relatives will have some closure.
We urge young men and women, parents and relatives to think long and hard, and reflect on whether or not, “backway” to Europe is the solution to “lack of hope and employment opportunities” for the youth in the country.
We urge the government of the Gambia to formulate realistic and tangible policies and programs that will give the youths hope and aspiration in making a decent living for them and their families in their own communities.
The Gambia is loosing the foundation of our societies through the dangerous and risky route to Europe onboard wooden boats in an unsuatainable manner. Government must take responsibility through law enforcement agencies who are sworn to protect lives and properties of The Gambian people.
November 8th 2021 will remain to be a painful day for many, until the fate of over 200 youths are known.