By MUHAMMED S. BAH
Four out of five candidates contesting for the Half Die Ward seat in the capital city of Banjul, have prioritized the Lorry Park as a major issue in their campaign promises to the people of the Ward.
All four candidates said they will address the problem of Lorries parking in the streets of HalfDie once elected into office because the problem continues to cause serious environmental hazards for residents, due to the immense pollution from the exhaust fumes of these vehicles. All four candidates made these assertions during the town hall debate organised by the IEC, for Candidates of the forthcoming Local Government Elections (LGE). However, the fifth candidate who is contesting as an Independent Candidate Abdoulie Secka, did not turn-up for the debate. All four candidates made similar remarks on the issue of Lorries parking in the streets of Halfdie Ward which they said, will be the topmost priority they will address when elected.
The candidates during the debate, said part of their priorities will be the revitalization of Half-Die Ward, by working with the relevant authorities to ensure that stores are change to residences as well as to encourage more people to come back and live in the Ward in particular, but Banjul in general.
Dawda Haffner, the incumbent and PDOIS Candidate for the Ward, said as part of his plans when re-elected, he would ensure a vibrant, transparent, effective, responsible and responsive BCC that will meet the needs of the people. “I and my community were working together tirelessly in cleaning the drainage system,” he said.
Haffner said if given another mandate, he will work with the relevant authorities to make sure that Banjul is habitable.
Momodou Bah, Candidate of the PPP, said for so long, the people of HalfDie Ward have been given chances to the previous Councilors, but nothing has changed to date; that the people of the Ward have been living with problems of poor roads, drainages, environmental pollution by Lorries and pollution by the Flour Mill factory and Youth Un-employment.
Bah said he has the competence to effect change in his community better than any other person.
Muhammadou Mbye, the UDP Candidate said he will advocate for the space at the wetland, to be built as a housing estate to be used for the inhabitants of Banjul, when elected.
The UDP Candidate said, the Flour Mill factory is contributing a lot in the Gambia in terms of Youth employment; that he will create dialogue with the relevant authorities to ensure that the pollution problem is addressed.
Mr. Mbye said the issue of the Lorries will be his number one priority; that the Lorries pollute the environment making breathing very difficult in Banjul South; that Lorries park in the Streets for weeks, causing dirt and trash to accumulate underneath where they park. He mentioned sanitation, poor drainage system and road as a part of his priority to address if elected.
Matarr Ndow, the APRC candidate believes that garbage, sanitation and cleanliness is his major concern, and shall tackle this when elected into office. He pointed out that he shall work towards rehabilitating the main drainages within his Ward to ensure the easy flow of sewerage, to avoid flooding.