Kajabang could be new coronavirus epicentre, as VDC chair issues chilling warning
By Sainey Darboe:
The coastal community of Kajabang in Gunjur could be the epicentre of Corona virus if efforts are not intensified to enforce stricter border control measures.
The chilling warning was issued by Lamin Bojang, vice chair of the Kajabang Village Development Committee.
His words: “The challenge now facing our community is the amount of strangers from Senegal disembarking at Gunjur beachside who are coming for work. This is a very worrying concern for us. We have tried to stop people disembarking, but we have no control and no one seems to be in charge of this situation. The Gunjur beach is busy and social distancing is not in place. This is a major concern for us we would welcome mass testing and support at our beaches to control the crowds”.
For Bai Falang Sarr, VDC secretary and member of Kajabang sports committee the reopening of Chinese Golden lead fish meal factory has returned business to pre-epidemic levels.
He lamented: “Business has returned as normal at the beach. The youths are becoming increasingly agitated to restart the football training. We are encouraging everyone to take note of the emergency procedures in place and that football should not be played at this moment, that if we are in close contact with each other whilst we the youth maybe strong enough to fight covid we may take the virus back home to our parents and grandparents whom we may be put in real danger”.
Mamady Badjie, nursing staff at Gunjur & Kajabang health post said creative efforts have been made to sensitize the people.
“We have been working on road shows around the area sharing information about the dangers of Covid 19 and what people can do to protect themselves and their families. We are facing real challenges with social distancing at the beachside and this is a big concern for all of us here. We are doing our best, but we are facing big challenges in our community because the state of emergency guidelines are not in place correctly in this area”.
The final message from this article is from Alagi Bojang of Gunjur Project who said the Gunjur Project will continue to work with the Kajabang community to ensure support is given at this time of need. The business side of Gunjur Project is closed since March but we continue to employ our 18 members of staff although some are paid to stay at home. The more everybody complies with the emergency guidelines the more chance we have of beating Covid in Gambia and us all being able to move forward again, together and stronger. I would like to thank all of our partners globally for their continued support during these difficult times.
The Gunjur Project, a community focused lodge and registered charity has also been working to support the surrounding Kajabang during the Covid 19 pandemic. Jenny Ringstead said:
“Working with the Kajabang VDC and Kajabang youths we initially identified the 10 most in needy compounds in Kajabang and allocated rice, sugar and other food items. However following the distribution of these items it was recognized that everybody is in need of support – the VDC confirmed 175 compounds here in kajabang. This motivated us to push forward with a fundraising program connecting with our global partners. Within weeks we have been able to raise the funds to distribute 175 sacks of 50kilo rice to every compound in kajabang.
Each compound was asked to bring 20litre oil drum and we have fitted taps onto the drums so that hand washing stations can be placed at each of the 175 compounds and the small shops. We have allocated bleach and detergents to use at the hand washing stations. We have printed the information posters developed by the ministry of health and Medical Research Council in a way to alert everyone of the threat of Covid 19. We are paying for a large tent outside the Kajabang health post so the health team can triage people outside rather than inside the building. We are supplying gloves and masks and gels for the workers. We will continue to work with our global partners to support the community brace for the covid storm”.