By Awa B. Bah
The National Assembly (NA) Select Committee on the monitoring of Government projects on Monday, 1st July 2019, commenced a week-long visit of government projects sites within the capital city of Banjul. This is part of their oversight functions. The select committee is assigned to assess environmental construction, monitor projects and challenges and make recommendations to Government.
The visiting team, which included experts, started with the ongoing construction of concrete and tar roads, gutter construction and rehabilitation projects under the BCC and MOTWI. The team also visited the port expansion project at the Gambia Ports Authority. The committee also visited the proposed multipurpose skills centre of former Campama School worth D21 million under the rural development project. The Chairman of the committee Sulayman Saho said the committee is set out on a fact-finding mission and also assesses the level of progress made in the ongoing implementation of government projects. This, he said, will avail them the opportunity to hold those responsible accountable in case they failed in their agreement. He said they are impressed with the level and quality of work going on in the capital and that they will keep monitoring them to ensure that sustainability is achieved.
Other members of the committee also said the designing, laying and implementation of such projects are very key. They noted that key stakeholders and experts like the national roads authority should be at the forefront of such projects. They called on those responsible for project implementation to always engage the agencies particularly government assigned agencies like the ministry and the national roads authority. They noted that there are challenges facing the projects, that this is related to attitudinal change of the beneficiaries. The projects, he said, are here for the people of the city and that they should make good use of it. They also strongly advised on sewage and waste disposal within the area as it is in the heart of the country. The committee also called on the contractor to make sure that quality materials are used in the construction of the road. This came when the committee noted that the size of rods recommended in the design of the project was not used. They noted that the size of the rods in use be cancelled and the attention of the contractor be called as this is taxpayer’s money.
Katim Touray technical director for BCC, supervising the ongoing roads projects for Banjul under the rural infrastructural development project through Gamworks, said the project started since 2013, that the project has gone far as only two roads are left to complete. The road project, he said, is thirty nine million dalasi, 8.25 million dalasi of which he said is from counterpart contribution to Gamworks.
Residents in and around projects sites have lauded the initiative of the select committee, noting that it will go a long way in easing the easy flow and discharge of waste and water within the capital city. They however lamented the slow pace at which work is progressing.