By Makutu Manneh
Residents of Kololi on Tuesday December 17th 2019 expressed their concerns to the Mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) Talib Ahmed Bensouda, when he visited their Wards to listen to their complaints and concerns.
Abdoulie Jobe the Alikalo of Kololi said flood is a major concern for the people of the Ward; that this is due to the lack of a proper drainage system in the Ward. Jobe said adequate drainage system is yet to be provided in the construction of the new road in Kololi. “Many compounds suffer flooding during the rainy reason,” the Alikalo told Mayor Bensouda.
He however praised the Mayor for the rubbish collection trucks his Council has provided to the people of the KM but said they will be very grateful if the Mayor can help them with the much needed drainage system to save them from unending floods during the rains.
Maria Coker a resident of Kololi said for the past six months, ‘Kololians’ have endured inadequate water supply; that many residents of the area could be seen moving from compound to compound in search of the precious liquid.
“The people of Kololi have suffered for nearly six months without getting a drop of water from the nation’s utility Company,” she said.
Adama Bah who represented Kololi youth said the youth need a helping hand at their football field which is located in Kotu; that this field is used by Kotu, Manjai and Kololi youth as their main center for recreation; that many sport persons have encountered injury at the field because of its condition; that unscrupulous people use the area as a dumpsite and throw their rubbish within the playground.
Dodou Gomez, the KMC Debt Manager said the Municipal Council depends on the revenue they collect from the Municipality, to bring development to the doorstep of people.
“Some people still continue to refuse paying their taxes and this is taking Council’s development backwards,” he said; that Council has powers to take people to Court when they refuse to pay their taxes but was quick to say that they cannot do this since the people are the ones who established the KMC.
Mr. Gomez pleaded to the people of Kololi to pay their taxes on time for development to be fast tracked; that the people of Kololi owe D8 million to Council.
In his speech to the people of Kololi, Mayor Ahmed Bensouda told them that the National Water and Electric Company (NAWEC), have a project that will solve many issues that relates to water supply; that KMC is not NAWEC and cannot therefore promise them anything on this issue.
Mayor Bensouda said he knows Kololi is part of the beneficiaries of the NAWEC project and that their community will surely benefit from this. The Mayor and delegation also visited the football field and parts of Kololi that suffered from flooding during the recent rainy season.
In a similar and related development, Mayor Bensouda told residents in the various communities he earlier visited, that he will build 12 markets in his Municipality.
“I will establish 12 markets by 2020 as well as bring a bus service,” he said. He however said that this is not a promise but projects that are part of his development plans for the Municipality in 2020.
Mayor Bensouda said he will provide a Bus service to the people of his Municipality by 2020 that will charge lesser transport costs for commuters; that a standard market is planned for Abuko including the roads in that community; that plans are afoot to bring a factory at the Bakoteh dumpsite for recycling rubbish.
Pa Lamin Gibba, the Councillor of Abuko Ward said women of the Ward suffer during rainy season due to poor road networks.
“Our mothers and sisters suffer a lot when going to the market and their gardens during rainy season,” he said.
Councillor Gibba also asked the Mayor to assist them with water supply and electricity; that many residents in Abuko live in darkness.
“Our women quarrel and fight when they meet at public taps to fetch water for domestic use,” he said.
Mba Binta Drammeh who represented the Abuko market women, said the women of the area want to have a standard market with electricity.
“Many of our goods perish because we have no storage facility for them,” she complained. She explained how women suffer when going to their gardens because of poor roads and urged the Mayor to facilitate visit to their garden by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Momodou Jabbie Kassama of Fajikunda, also told the Mayor to assist the people of the area with land to build a market for the women who continue to suffer from loss of their produce due to lack of a proper market structure. “Our women are hit by cars because they are selling along the streets,” he said.
Mayor Bensouda is visiting Wards under his Municipal Council to see the difficulties and constraints faced by the people and to explain the plans that his Council has for them.