Donors Hand Over Clinic, Borehole to Busura Village

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By: Kebba AF Touray

Africa Relief and Community Development and Riders for Health, in collaboration with the National Assembly Member for Brikama South, have handed over a Clinic and a borehole to the community of Busura in the West Coast Region of the Gambia. The handing over ceremony held in Busura on Saturday, 25 May 2024, marked the successful construction of the two life-changing infrastructures that are now ready to serve the community.

Pa Alieu Faye, the Alkalo of Busura described the day as a memorable one in the annals of the village’s journey towards attaining quality healthcare and access to potable water. 

The two facilities, according to Faye, will serve as a sanctuary for the sick and access to potable water for the villagers. He said the villagers have for long battled for access to healthcare and water, and said with these infrastructures, these challenges will be put to history.

Mr Faye expressed gratitude and appreciation to the donors for providing two life-changing infrastructures for the village saying it will put to rest their nightmares of accessing healthcare and water which he said are basic human necessities.

Aboubacarr Faye, on behalf of the VDC of Busura, said the clinic will play a key role in providing necessary healthcare needs of the community and its surroundings.

“The people in this area have been grappling with access to primary healthcare services and clean drinking water. With the provision of this clinic and borehole, we are of the firm belief that our plight to access the two infrastructures will be things of the past,” he said. 

Representatives of the women of the village, Fatou Wahab Jarjue and Olimatou Colley, expressed delight with the new development for their village and said the clinic in particular, will provide the women with healthcare services especially when they are in labor.

The women representatives urged the donors to provide them with staff quarters to accommodate medical officers for the clinic.

Alhagie Camara, a representative of the NGO, Africa Relief and Community Development, said their organization has its regional office in Bakau. He told the convergence that their goal is to help vulnerable groups in key intervention areas such as education, health, religion, and water supply. In line with this objective, he said they have constructed almost 400 boreholes across the Gambia, to provide access to water in those villages. He said due to obstacles that the people of the area go through in trying to access healthcare service; they teamed up with their fellow institutions to ensure the provision of the clinic and borehole to the community and reiterated the call for the Health Ministry to join in to ensure the smooth running of the Clinic.

The Chief of Brikama South, Dembo Bojang, implored the regional health director to ensure the continuous functioning of the clinic, and challenged the community to take ownership of the clinic and the borehole, to ensure its durability and sustainability.

A representative of Regional Health Directorate Two for West Coast Region, reiterated the need to provide the Clinic with staff quarters that can house medical officers, and promise that they will do their utmost to ensure the continuous operations of the clinic in the delivery of healthcare services for the village and surrounding.

On his part, the Member for Brikama South, Hon. Lamin J. Sanneh, explained that they have identified Busura as a potential community that should benefit from the clinic program, during their data collection.

“This also complements the efforts of government as a duty bearer in providing quality and affordable healthcare services to the citizenry, both at the grass root and central levels. We should therefore ensure that our environment is clean, because a clean environment guarantees to a greater extent, a healthy community,” he said.

Alhagie Saine, Director of Human Resources at the Health Ministry, said the provision of the two infrastructures have come at the opportune moment, in view of the difficulties that the people in the area went through to access their healthcare needs.

This development, he said, is in line with their set target of attaining universal health coverage, to ensure access to quality healthcare services by Gambians.

Speakers at the occasion hailed Africa Relief for Community Development, Riders for Health and the NAM for Brikama South for the magnanimous gesture, which according to them, will improve the health and living conditions of the community and satellite villages.

Sounding views of members of the community on this development, many expressed their joy for the provision of potable water and the construction of the health facility.