Wards Councillors of the People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) in Serrekunda together with their party’s Secretary General Halifa Sallah, on Saturday March 21st 2020 distributed hand washing buckets and sanitizers to various public centers within their Wards, in an effort to combat the spread of the Coronavirus. The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration of the Coronavirus as a global pandemic came in the wake of its rapid spread worldwide. The epidemic which broke out in China in 2019, led many to call the disease ‘Chinese disease’. Residents of Bartez, London and Kololi wards which are in the hands of the PDOIS were among the first beneficiaries of the virus preventive distributed sanitary materials. Frequent hand washing culture is one of the most outstanding advice of the preventive measure advised by WHO.
Speaking during the distribution of the items, London Ward Councilor Musa Cham expressed concern with the state of affairs of the country in terms of social behavior and interaction; that the virus dislikes social contacts and un-hygienic practices and this compelled them as a party to contribute their quota to save lives.
“As a party, the exercise is in fulfillment of our social responsibility particularly at this moment which demands the collective efforts of everyone, to combat the virus,” said Cham; that the intervention has no connection to politics but is a national solidarity to fight a global menace.
The distribution exercise targeted youth groups such as ‘vous’, children’s playgrounds and other strategic areas within London Corner and other Wards.
Ebrima Jarju, a resident of London Corner appreciated the gesture and called on other political leaders and civil society organizations to follow-suit, to complement what he described as a national emergency respond.
“This period is not for politics. It is time of put politics aside and demonstrate solidarity against this fearful disease,” Jarju said. He called for more sensitization at places where people do not believe in the existence of the disease; that although those areas are not mentioned, he as a social worker interacts with people and this was how he came to know about it. On his suggestion on the type of sensitization for such areas, Jarju said peer and house to house sensitization will surely drive the message home.
At the Serre Kunda Bartez Ward, Councillor Karim Darboe targeted Mosques, the Serekunda market, Police Stations and the Sandika Health facility.
Speaking in an interview, Darboe explained the high population density as reason for targeting those areas within his Ward; that the Serekunda market being one of the busiest in the country, makes it difficult for the Kanifing Municipal Council to satisfy everyone with items to protect themselves; that this is what led to their intervention.
Mami Ceesay, Abdou Touray and Imam Muhammed Cham all appreciated the gesture and enjoined everyone to take ownership of the exercise.
Speaking during the distribution exercise, Imam Cham said religious leaders cannot be left behind in the battle against the coronavirus; that they can be easily infected by their faithful followers and carriers at the same time; that Imams can assist in disseminating preventive and protective measures during the exercise.
‘‘In fact, cleanliness is next to Godliness and God has mentioned the importance of cleanliness in many verses of the Holy Quran,’’ he said.
The sensitization and distribution continues in Kololi Ward on Sunday.