51,328 People Affected by Flashfloods in Gambia

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By Kebba AF Touray

The Vice President of the Gambia, Muhammad B.S. Jallow said the windstorms and flashfloods during the 2023 rainy season have affected Fifty-One Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty-Eight (51,328) people across the country.

He said this on Wednesday, 13 December 2023 during the question and answer session with the lawmakers at the National Assembly. The question was asked by Sulayman Jammeh, the member for Bundung-Ka Kunda. Honourable Jammeh asked the Vice President to state the disaster status owing to the 2023 rains highlighting the number of people affected by the rains and the support provided by the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA).

The Vice President said the flash floods and windstorms have affected Three Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty-Seven households (3,387 households) translating to 51, 328 people affected countrywide. He added that the NDMA in collaboration with the World Food Program (WFP) provided food assistance to One Thousand, Four Hundred and Sixty-Seven (1,467) households. He pointed out that the support  included essential items such as rice, oil, beans and iodize salt and each of the beneficiary households received 50 kilograms of rice, 5 liters of oil, 8 kilograms of beans and 4 kilograms of salt monthly from July, August and September.

Member for Baddibu Central, Honourable Sulayman Saho asked the Minister to inform the Assembly about the source of funding for the 70 buses distributed across the country and its cost.

The Vice President, Muhammed B.S. Jallow said the procurement of the buses was done to ease and to deal with problems associated with transportation. He added that the government engaged the Gambia Transport Service Company (GTSC) to increase its coverage, covering the urban areas. He detailed that the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), being the parent of the GTSC, facilitated the procurement of 70 buses to replace the aging fleet and to increase coverage.

“The total cost of the project is Thirteen Million, Four Hundred and Thirty-One Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety (13,431,690) Euros,” he said.

He maintained that the cost included two containers of spare parts, tools and special equipment, 70 solar powered bulb shelters, 24 months’ technical support, mobile workshop, the upgrading of the main engineering workshop and modern ticketing hardware and software.

Honourable Saho asked the Vice President to state whether SSHFC have indicated that the project will not be abused, adding that history revealed that the corporation’s resources have been abused and misused.

“Like I said, SSHFC is the parent company of the GTSC, so it is still within the same institution,” the Vice President responded.

Member for Bakau, Assan Touray asked the Vice President to explicitly state the source of the funding for the purchase of the 70 buses.

“Social Security and Housing Finance and Corporation provided the funds to the GTSC to buy the buses,” the VP said.

The Member for Tallinding Kunjang, Honourable Musa Badjie on behalf of the Member of Latrikunda Sabiji, Honourable Yaya Sanyang, also asked the Vice President to state if the government is committed to democratic rule and respect for rule of law, considering the recent actions of the President which he said may undermine the rule of law, freedom of expression, association and separation of powers.

“I wish to inform this august assembly that the President is committed to democracy and rule of law,” the Vice President replied.