Holiday Camp Boss Calls for Rethink in Developing Urban, Rural Gambia


By Ndey Sowe

Lamin Jammeh, Chief Executive Director of Iliyassa Baobab Holiday Camp in the North Bank Region (NBR), has called for a balance in development between urban and rural Gambia which will ensure people living in the provinces stay in their community and earn a living.

“If there is a balance in development between Kombo and province, those coming to Kombo in search of a better job would no more leave the provinces for Kombo,” Jammeh said in an interview.

He however urged Gambians to go back to the provinces and work there to develop the area, saying government cannot do it all.

Jammeh, who was a former tourist taxi driver, said development should be all inclusive and that the country cannot grow without Gambians’ hard work.

“I left the hotel as a tourist taxi driver, came back to my home town with the little I have and the support from others, I built over ten schools in The Gambia and what we spent on each school is more than hundred thousand dalasi. I did all this because the provinces don’t have many schools. That is why I came with all these initiatives and with the help and support from other development partners; I decided to build all these schools in provincial Gambia,” he explained.

Jammeh said he had dug a borehole in a garden to provide water for over seventy plants of oranges for a start, while adding that he has a poultry farm at the provinces as well as in Kombo.

Nonetheless, Jammeh said due to insufficient financial muscle, he has limited some of his business plans and career. His intention is to expand his business so that he can employ more Gambians.

“I have over fifteen people working in the poultry, nursery school, and garden in Iliyassa (his village),” he said.

“I therefore advise people that Kombo is not the only place to search for jobs because {the} living standard in Kombo is the same as in provinces and whatever I eat in Kombo, is the same I eat in the provinces.”

CEO Jammeh commended the government for supplying their area with electricity 24 hours a day, saying more of what he grows and harvests is stored in a refrigerator. He said a country cannot develop without adequate electricity supply.

“Before you go to Kombo to buy a plot of land for hundred or four hundred thousand dalasi, I believe those hundreds of thousands can do a lot of things for you in the provinces. I think we should also invest in provinces than to take all our monies to Kombo to build beautiful houses. It is good but what is more important is that, we come together and empower our farmers for development,” he said.

Jammeh urged Gambians to come up with strategies and plans to develop the provinces, arguing that when the provinces are developed everyone can live a decent and meaningful life.

He further said Gambians should come together and develop the country because no one from outside can develop it for them.

“If we do not come together and put in our efforts, there will be no meaningful development,” he said.