Is The Health Minister Aware?
By Lamin Fatty
There is a deafening silence at the ministry of health amid a mega generator designed for Basse District Hospital lingering in Banjul port since 2013.
A generator donated to Basse District Hospital since 2013 by a group of Gambians who call themselves ‘Bolongba Kono Kafoo’ in Spain through the Ministry of Health since, has not yet reach its destination but instead lies at the Banjul port for over 8 years now, because the Health Ministry has failed to honour their agreement, according to the above ‘Kafoo’.
The association which comprises Gambian citizens from the farthest province of the Gambia, told this reporter that the said generator was sent for use at the Basse Health facility since 2013, when Ms. Fatim Bajie was the Minister of Health.
This information first came to the notice of Foroyaa last December 2021, when this reporter contacted the then Secretary General of the Association Bakary Kora, who confirmed the story.
“It was in 2013 when the former Health Minister Fatim Bajie visited Spain and had an agreement with our Kafo (Bolongba Kono Kafoo) for the provision of a generator which was shipped for Basse Health facility since 2013. Since then, the generator has arrived Banjul Port and it should be the responsibility of the Ministry to receive it from the Ports and send it to its final designation which is Basse Health facility. However, shortly before the arrival of the generator, former president Jammeh decided to change everything, and said the Association can only donate but cannot determine the destination of the generator,” Kora told this reporter; adding shortly afterwards, Ms. Fatim Badjie was sacked and since then, every Health Minister who comes including all their permanent secretaries and directors, is aware of this generator issue which is at the Banjul Port.
Kora said Suwaibou Touray, the National Assembly Member for Wulli East is a living witness to this story because he has been working with the ‘Kafoo’ to facilitate the discharge of the generator to its designated destination, but to no avail.
This reporter contacted Mr. Suaibou Touray for confirmation, and he said he saw the said generator at the Port of Banjul during a visit he had with Bakary Kora, a member of the said Kafo
“I am aware of the issue of this generator and in fact I went with Bakary Kora to see this generator at Banjul Port, where it has been up to now. Since then, I have been going to the Health Ministry about this issue but to no avail,” Suwaibu Touray stated to this reporter; adding that his last visit was in 2020, when he met the Permanent Secretary himself, Jaiteh, who promised to do something about it; indicating it was even suggested that the generator cannot be in Basse. However, Suwaibe said that the donors will be disappointed because they will not want their income to be wasted at the Port like that.
This reporter tried to reach the Health Ministry for confirmation of this report, but to no avail.
Momodou Njai, the director of health promotion was reached for confirmation but he said he did not know anything about the said generator issue and referred this reporter to the permanent secretary.
This reporter has been following the permanent secretary for over two weeks now on this issue to no avail.