By Makutu Manneh
President Adama Barrow has informed Gambians that an agreement has been reached with a contractor and they now await Saudi Arabia’s ‘no objection’ to start the construction of roads that would be funded by the OIC.
“Now we have agreed with the contractor and now if we have no objection from Saudi Arabia, definitely work will start and I believe very soon,” President Barrow said.
President Barrow made the statement on Friday 20th August 2021while he was on tour of the proposed roads for construction under the OIC project. Among the places he toured were Brufut, Sukuta, Kololi, Kerr Sering, Bijlo and Jeshwang.
As the President journeyed these roads, dirty and full of potholes, residents came out chanting “we need good roads, we are tired of the struggle, if you (President Barrow) construct our roads, we will vote for you.”
President Barrow spoke to journalists after the end of his tour, sharing his optimism that the roads will be constructed before the OIC summit 2022.
The construction of these roads is a game changer for Gambians especially the residents of these areas.
When asked about what led to the delay of the road constructions, Mr. Barrow said 57 countries are making decisions for The Gambia to make these roads and that the negotiations are not easy. He urged Gambians to cooperate with them as they work on the construction of roads.
“Without their cooperation, we cannot do these roads,” he said. “I believe we cannot develop without proper roads. These roads will bring huge development as far as our infrastructure is concerned.”
Mr. Barrow said he has always been briefed on the OIC roads project, but that was not enough for him which was why he went to see the roads. He said the construction of the roads will reduce traffic congestion in the country.
The proposed roads to be constructed are 50 kilometres, costing 50 million dollars. Barrow said another road to be built is a dual carriage one amounting to 82 million dollars. He said the two “combined we are talking about 132 million dollars.”