The Youth Centre of Gunjur Development Association
Commentary: Friday, July 10 | Omar Bah
Gunjur community through Gunjur Development Association are now in the early stages of their youth center construction.
GDA is a Gunjur home and diaspora base association of mainly natives of the village. The association has since its inception started numerous projects. The association is also at a court trial whose hearings keep being adjourned for 3 years now, with Golden Lead the company that has led to the establishment of the association. In their resolve to fight against the foul smell emanating from the factory; pollution of the ocean and overfishing as a result of the company's presence the association was birthed. Recently, Gunjur has been home to total environmental destruction through state enabled machinations such as sand mining and Golden Lead’s existence. Most of the sand dunes have been mined away. Sand dunes perform an essential function by shielding interior lands from entry into coastal waters. These are capable of mitigating the effects and defending marine areas from high intensity hurricanes and serving as a strong shield to the disruptive powers of wind and water. Hence the community is vulnerable. Interestingly amid these environmental carnage Gunjur Youth Movement is born, a movement that has planted many trees along the beach to mitigate the effects of these exploitations in place.
Gunjur as a community could not benefit or rather did not enjoy its rights to key infrastructural development such as water supply, electricity etc from the Jammeh hegemony because Jammeh considered the community to be an opposition. The water pipes are unevenly distributed in an attempt to deny certain areas water. Even the NAWEC poles are not evenly distributed. Under Jawara the community has not equally benefitted much even though it is a home to Alagie Nfamara Wassa Touray a key figure in Gambia’s fight for independence.
The GDA youth center’s fundraisings have been ongoing for quite some time now. Jaliba Kuyate, the king of the Kora has played in one of their fundraisings and political figures like Mai Ahmed Fatty was an attendant. He made a huge donation towards the fundraiser and did the art politicians master. Gave a speech and the rest was the usual.
The birth of GDA is therefore no surprise, it has come as a result of the community wanted justice for its people. GDA is a unique association and has gone onto inspire the same kind of spirit within neighboring communities. Key of these is Sukuta, who are also keen on following the footprint of Gunjur and establish a youth center for their community.
Gunjur being typically a cultural and religious community has not always welcome the idea of a youth center more so among its baby boomers. Whether the center would exist to realize their greatest fear of moral decadence or some westernization attempt by the diaspora time would be the test to this.
More on the GDA youth center would follow.