Basse Area Council Launches D34 Million Bridge, Road Projects


By Lamin Fatty

The Basse Area Council (BsAC) last week (Wednesday 4th August 2021) launched a 34 million dalasi project for the construction of roads and bridges across three communities.

BsAC led by the chairman laid the foundation stone of three bridges in three different wards within the region. They are; Song Kunda Bridge that connects the community of Song Kunda to Fatoto-Nyamanar highway in Koina Ward; Baja Kunda Bridge which also connects the community to the school and the health centre on the Lamin Koto-Passamas highway in Baja Kunda Ward; and Samba Lolo Bridge that also connects the community of Sabi to Samba Lolo from Sabbi-Vellingara highway towards Banikos in Sabi Ward.

Speaking in Song Kunda, where the official ceremony was held, BAC chairman Foday Danjo, said it is a nightmare for the people of the aforesaid communities to travel through the stream especially during the rainy season.

” The said bridge is captured in our strategic work plan 2019 to 2022 and  also entailed {in the} national development plan priority areas. This project will contribute a lot towards the social economy of the communities around Song Kunda and beyond. It would boost their incomes and promote businesses with other activities as it is an entering point from Northern Senegal and Casamance,” chairman said.

Chairman Danjo also said the would-be bridge at Samba Lolo connecting Sabi has numerous benefits to the communities around that area, ranging from healthcare, farming, transportation of goods and services from Senegal and other parts of Africa.

“The importance of these bridges cannot be over emphasized because the bridge between Samba Lolo and Sabbi according to some elders got damaged over 30 years ago and since then, it has never been rehabilitated. Today Basse Area Council is coming up to construct it not only for our taxpayers, but beyond the region who are frequent users of it.

 “As we all know, Baja Kunda is a very big community and there is only one major entering point as far as this village is concerned, and the bridge at that major entrance is seriously undermined by the running water and is edging now, and we feel that it is time to come up with such magnificent project to construct it”, chairman Danjo said.

Chairman Danjo indicated that the general council of BsAC, as the custodians of taxpayers’ funds, will continue to deliver to the region as the local government act dictates that 60 percent should be ploughed back to taxpayers through development projects. He said the three culvert bridges are clear manifestations.

Danjo highlighted that the Song Kunda Bridge is costing D4.9 million, Sabbi -Samba Lolo Bridge D3.9 million and Baja Kunda bridge D3.9 million. This adds up to D12. 7 million is for the construction of three bridges. The remaining millions from the D34 million would be used for the construction and rehabilitation of roads, including the main road linking Manneh Kunda to Basse town.

BsAC chairman also used the opportunity to call on the central government to consider supporting the local council more as well as appealing to the ministry of local government to provide mobility to the local council, especially rural councils.

“If that is done, I am sure that the development will come to the doorstep of our taxpayers. We as the local council are nearer to the grass root and if the central government is able to fulfil their quota, I’m sure all councils will develop towards their LGAs,” he said.

For his part, BsAC CEO Ousman Touray, emphasized that their aims and objectives are for the taxpayers to feel, see and touch the value of their taxes.

The deputy governor of Upper River Region (URR), Essa Conteh who represented the governor and permanent secretary at the ministry of lands, advised the beneficiary communities to take the ownership of the projects. He also urged taxpayers to pay their taxes regularly in order to enjoy the value of their taxes.

The councillor for Baja Kunda Ward, Omar Garry, said the importance of the projects cannot be over emphasized, saying it is a life changing project in the history of his ward.

“Baja Kunda is at the centre of Wulli East and at this village, we have junior and senior schools, a major health centre and other facilities and most of the communities cannot access these facilities without crossing this bridge. When this bridge is completed, it will even affect the prices of the commodities as the flow of goods and services would increase,” councillor Garry said.

Other speakers included the Alkalo and VDC chairman of Song kunda, representative of the Alkalo of Baja Kunda, Saikouna Bajaha, and the company manager of China Long Jiam Company, Mr. Kong Ling Tie.

The occasion was graced by the new deputy mayor of KMC, Mrs. Binta Janneh Jammeh and her delegation.