Councillor Jammeh, A Young Politician Who Believes in Grassroots Development


By Nelson Manneh

He is the councillor for Bundung Six Junction. Christened Sulayman Jammeh, the young politician dreams to change the political narrative in The Gambia.

Jammeh observed that many people have a negative perspective towards politics as many take it to be the fastest way of getting popular and getting rich. He said he intends to venture into the industry to change that trend.

Jammeh joined the political pitch in 2013 and was first elected as a Ward Councilor in the same year.

“I am a visionary leader and I believe in implementation not giving promises to electorates that I know I cannot achieve,” he said.

Jammeh said in his position as a Councilor he has initiated a lot of developmental projects and implemented most of them.

“Whenever I come up with the project, I will first sell the idea to my fellow Councilors and most of them will deny it or they will tell me that it will not be possible for me to implement it,” he said.

The Community Taps Project 

The community taps project was the first project Jammeh initiated and implemented in his ward and beyond.

“When I came up with the idea, most of my colleagues were thinking of its implementation because it required income but with the support from my community, we were able to install more than eighty taps in the whole of Bundung Six Junction and beyond,” he explained.

Water shortage due to lack of street taps becomes a thing of the past.

Alagie Jammeh, a head teacher in one of the nursery schools in Bundung, said when he established the school some years ago, the students used to go outside the school in order to get water.

“In those days, it was not safe. I decided to introduce the use of buckets in the classrooms. In each class there were buckets and that is where the pupils drink from,” he said.

But Alagie Jammeh said that situation is history now because inside his school, Councilor Sulayman Jammeh has established a tap there without cost.

“Our councilor has made life easy for us. He is a visionary leader and has done more than what is expected of him as a counselor,” he said.

Micro Finance

To relieve the capital burdens on women who want to venture into business, Sulayman Jammeh came up with a project called microfinance assistance.

“With this project, I made sure that all the women who were interested in business came together and formed an association and they were given loans with small or no interest,” he said.

Jammeh said about one hundred and forty women benefited from the loans and each was given five thousand dalasis.

“This idea was another marvel to some of the Councilors I told the idea because they were wondering that these women may refuse to pay the loans but never tried it too,” he said.

The councilor of Bundung said he brought these striving women together and they were able to actualize his abstract idea.

Light Up Streets Project

Sulayman Jammeh was the first councilor in the history of the Gambia political arena to initiate a light-up streets project. The project was aimed at providing streets light to communities with little or no expenditure.

The streets light project was first implemented in Bundung Six Junction and later extended to other communities within Kanifing Municipality and beyond.

“This is the best project that I will be proud of in my political capacity. Whenever I see the lights on I always say to myself I have implemented a project that people see, feel it and embrace it,” Jammeh said in an interview.

Councilor Jammeh said when he came up with the idea he took it to the council level but it was not welcomed by many.

“I told them that it can happen but they give deaf ears. Today, it is all over KM. I am proud because I initiated it,” he said.

Lamin Jahateh, a driver at the Bundung Garage opposite the Bundung Police Station, said before the establishment of lights at the garage, they struggled a lot with thieves.

“In those days, almost every day, drivers would complain that their properties were missing but now that has come to pass. Light is everywhere now, we are safe both day and night now,” he said.

Councilor Jammeh said as of now, the whole of Bundung Six Junction has more than five hundred bulbs.

“The streets lights have reduced stealing in my community and it is embraced by my people,” he said.

He said the street lights are locally made with minimum cost.

“If I have the funds I will be able to light the whole of KM and beyond because I have the expertise and human resources with me,” he added.