By Ndey Sowe
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Gambia revealed that all is set for the construction of fifty kilometers (50KM) of 20 new urban roads.
Officials said by the first quarter of 2021, work will ensue. The project is funded from a loan of 50 million dollar from the Saudi Fund for Development.
This was disclosed on Saturday, 7th November, 2020, as the Local Organising Committee of OIC Gambia Secretariat embarked on a tour.
Imed Gharbi, Country Manager for Pan Arab Consulting Engineer (PACE), said they are contracted to perform the design and the supervision of the project.
“We are concluding the design of the project and the design has many faces, we completed the first and now we are conducting the plenary design,” he said.
He added that once the plenary design is approved, they will do the final design, after which, they will launch the tender for the selection of the contractors for the execution of the work.
“The design will end at December 2020 and the execution of the work will start by March 2021 and shall be completed by March 2022. We are now compiling all the ground information to perform the designs and the Gambia is a flat country so it is a big challenge to make storm water drainage and the time age for the design is 30 years,” he revealed.
He said every road selected shall be subjected to maintenance and every 7 or 8 years, they have to make some serious interventions on the running course of the roads.
Yankuba Dibba, Chief Executive Director for Oranisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Gambia said they meet with the Local Organising Committee every month to discuss the progress and challenges of the project for advice.
Dibba said the reason for the tour was to visit all the proposed 50KM of 20 new urban roads to asses work done. He assured that by March 2021, work will start and end in 12 months.
Momodou Senghore, Managing Director of National Road Authority (NRA), said electric poles have been erected close to the middle of the road in some areas and some pipes have surfaced on the middle of the road. This, he said, is a challenge for them.
He said they were able to come up with different alternatives in terms of the cross section, where they have more space
Senghore said they have a target and that is the OIC Summit, so they have to work fast.
Binta Sidibeh, Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee, said they will collaborate with partners on the project to ensure a successful OIC Summit in The Gambia.
“We cannot just sit and have meetings in side a room, we need to see the realities on the ground, and this is what prompted us in consultation with the OIC Secretariat to come out and see for ourselves,” she said.
She said this provided them opportunity to talk to all those involved, such as the consultants and NRA so that they can push forward on the lapses.
Sidibeh assured that at the pace they are working with, they will be able to make it.