LETTER TO THE DIRECTORS OF GAMWORKS: JAMBANJELLY NEEDS AN URGENT RESPONSE TO THE FLOOD DISASTER
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
Thursday 23 July | Open Letter to GAMWORKS | Saihou Jeng
It is not unknown to you that every development project must be preceded by an adequate professional survey in order to mitigate any risk of a disastrous aftermath of that development. It is not unknown to you that a development project like road construction needs an exhaustive Environmental Impact Assessment such that erosion, drainage, floods and other evironment-related issues are substantially factored in other to protect the environment safety of the direct beneficiaries is not taken to the trash bin. It is also known to you that when such a contract is being executed, qualified professionals in the trade must be assigned to ensure the proper monitoring and evaluation of progress and impact, simultaneously.
The people of Jambanjelly cannot factually establish if the aforesaid protocols were observed by you because the consequences of the road are severe beyond imagination. For two years and on, a good numbers of natives of Jambanjelly lived in deplorable conditions, hopelessly and helplessly, as a result of your institution's negligence in efficiently protecting their environmental safety rights. The construction of the new road, Sukuta-Jambanjelly, have turned into more of a curse than a blessing to the poor natives who are thriving from hand to mouth, thanks to the poor, incomplete and substandard DRAINAGE SYSTEM your built. In addition, their lives are threatened on a daily daily because works executed under your institution's supervision exposed high tension NAWEC electric poles to erosion, with a subsequent collapse eminent if not immediately addressed.
It is without an iota of doubt that the "representative" sent from your office to the village on Tuesday, 21st July 2020 was only there to provoke the suffering villagers by ejecting all his sweats in justifying the poor works, shifting blames and also defending the interest of your institution and it's leaders. He only demonstrated the lack of care and consideration over the concerns of the villagers which were put to you from the onset of the work, individually and through their VDC. Meanwhile, as these vulnerable families continue to live in havoc, you and your families rest so comfortably well in your air-conditioned mansions, avoiding every responsibility associated to the damages caused to the villagers by your hands.
If people who are trusted with the responsibility of protecting social safety and development concerns of the ordinary Gambians could comfortably take such gigantic steps away from those responsibilities, then the life of the common man shall continue to be in total disarray for the rest of time.
In view of the aforesaid, you are urged and required, with utmost urgency, to address the current drainage issues in Jambanjelly, for any further delay will only further deteriorate the conditions of the teary victims. They are NOt demanding for any financial compensation; they just want the appropriate drainage system to be installed, and all works previously executed to be rectified in other to mitigate all forms of risk they are currently exposed to. Jambanjelly had efficient drainage systems with no history of floods before the construction of the new road.
The villagers have assured all those concerned that they will not relent in their efforts in making sure that the right thing is done until such right thing is satisfactorily done. It is therefore eminent for your institution to step up plans in addressing the situation without further delay.
Cc: Office of The President Ministry of Works and Infrastructure National Disaster Management Agency National Environment Agency.