By: Kebba AF Touray
Kebba K. Barrow, the Majority Leader and Member for Kombo South at the Gambia’s National Assembly, has called on the nation to adhere to the Emergency Laws and Regulations to ensure that they are implemented to meet the purpose of containing COVID-19 in the country.
Majority Leader Barrow called on the lawmakers to respect the rules they have set for themselves because it will help and guide them to understand the issues before them and make informed decisions that will be beneficial to the citizenry.
Majority Leader Barrow who was speaking at the National Assembly emphasized the need to strictly adhere to the set rules and health guidelines set by health experts, to curb COVID-19. He appealed to the Interior Ministry to write to the transport controllers to decongest State House and Departments and give the vehicles to the security to facilitate their movement around the clock to enforce border closures.
He acknowledged the initiative taken by the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly to facilitate the Members to sensitize their constituents on COVID-19 prevention; that this has given signals to the citizenry on the consequences of not adhering to the health guidelines provided by the Health Ministry and WHO.
He described the commitment of the Legislature to work with partners and serve the best interest of the citizenry because the National Assembly was the first institution to scale down in line with the social distancing preventive measure.
Majority Leader Barrow thanked the Human Rights Committee of the National Assembly for coming up with the recommendations, as well as the regulation that hinges on the lives and livelihoods of rural people. He implored the Justice Ministry to work with various Ministries so that the information is filtered down to rural communities; that the institution be empowered and that the National Disaster Management Agency in collaboration with GBoS should come out with an assessment report on the vulnerable people in our communities.
Majority Leader Barrow remarked that the report will enable Members have an accurate report on how to make informed decisions by clearly outlining the number of affected livelihoods and the impact of the regulations on the people, and on how to provide incentives to those affected.
“This will help us achieve the purpose of the regulation period and I think it is also important to capacitate our agencies and departments and make their existence and responsibilities known to the people which will allow them to respect and comply with the decisions,” he said; that it is significant for everyone to come together as a country and adhere to the information and advice from the WHO, and put in place social welfare measures to ensure that the vulnerable ones have food and other essential commodities,” he said; that the WHO’s recommendations of providing essential protective equipment including masks and other respiratory gadgets that are needed during their work to contain the killer disease should be adhered to by Government.
“The Gambia is at a cross-road in this trying time and it is the responsibility of citizens to work towards ensuring that the county is safe. The county does not have the adequate resources we need to contain COVID-19. So it is significant that we follow the procedures and health standards to ensure that our people are protected,” Majority Leader Barrow concludes.