URBAN PLANNING IN CRISIS

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Banjul is the capital city of The Gambia. Every government has the duty to bring about urban and rural development. A government which is democratic must formulate policies that would ensure the balanced and proportionate development of urban and rural areas.

The major dilemma of the city has been poor planning. What is happening today at Tobacco Road is nothing strange. Every government that existed in this country has been confronted with the challenges of urban development. Despite 67 years of self-proclaimed independence no strategy has been put in place to ensure that proper sewerage and drainage is put in place to free the inhabitants of Banjul from flood that would result in the emptying of raw sewage in the street.

Of recent financing arrangements were made with the promise of giving Banjul a face lift. The first task of the engineers should have been to provide a proper drainage system connected to proper road network. One would have expected that would have prevented the type of flooding that is taking place today.

In a properly planned city covered drains capable of holding water and allowing it to empty the quantity of water anticipated during the rainy season based on past records of the rain pattern in the area.

Unfortunately, the development trend in many post independent African countries is to see development to be merely the erection of structures without proper assessment of their interconnection with other structures. A proper drainage system should have been the primary objective of any government wishing to bring about urban development.