By Makutu Manneh
Sheriff Sallah, a native of Raniru in Sami Constituency about 240 kilometers from the capital, Banjul, has detailed the ordeal his village goes through due to persistent armed robbery and attacks they encounter in their community.
The young native of Raniru expressed this concern during the President’s meet the people’s tour.
Sallah said armed robbers attacked businessmen and merchants in their village annually. He said they are always in fear because they do not know when the attackers would strike.
“The dwellers of Raniru are in constant fear due to attacks on our business men annually. When these robbers attack, we keep calm because we cannot fight back since they are armed because they come with guns,” he said. “We are asking the government to come to our aid, hearing guns in our village is scary.”
Sillah also said security is limited in their community and that it is always a problem for the police to reach there on time when an attack takes place. Poor network connection is another issue he said was a concern.
“When we call the police before they arrive, these people are gone and that is due to the bad road network” he said.
To him, the village needs a police post to help them get rid of the robbers.
Mr. Sillah also revealed other concerns that their village is grappling with.
He said the village is also battling with inadequate clean and safe drinking water, saying their women fetch their daily water from an estimated well of 65 meters deep.
“We appeal to the government to provide us with a borehole for safe drinking water,” he said.
Sillah said another constraint they face is the lack of a polling station in their village, as they have to walk to another village to cast their votes.
“Some voters find it difficult or even impossible to travel to the next village to cast their votes,” he said.
He said the village has decided not to vote again if they don’t have a polling station at their village. Thus, he said they are calling on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to come to their rescue so that every eligible voter in their community exercises their franchise.
Sallah also talked about how women suffer in their gardens to have access to water.
In responding to these concerns, President Barrow told them that their concerns have been noted.
“I have consulted the minister of works,” he said.
The Minister of Local Government and Lands, Musa Drammeh, said they will build a borehole for the village.
Drammeh said the project can even be extended to bringing taps in the village, adding that the Minister of Agriculture will establish a garden for the women of the community.
He also told the villagers that they will do their best to assist them with a polling station.