Village Based Community Student’s Association Sensitises On Civic Duties, Rights

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By Ndey Sowe

Sare Gubu Students’ Association (SGSA), a community-based organization of Sare Gubu Basiru village in Sandu District of the Upper River Region (URR), on Saturday, 1 January, 2022 sensitised the residents of Sare Gubu village on rights, freedom and duties of citizens as well as antenatal care services and the effects of a delay in access to antenatal care.

The organisation also sensitised residents on importance of trees for our environment and livestock caring. This is an annual event conducted by the association, and it aims to raise awareness of residents on the cross-cutting issues of society.

In his welcome remarks, the village head, Alhagie Lori Bah, commended all the participants for attending the annual event. He described the gathering as a significant enlightening forum for the residents and satellite villages.

Muhammed S. Bah, President for SGSA, expressed gratitude to all for witnessing the sensitisation forum. He thanked the residents of Sare Gubu in the diaspora, and the women and partners of the association for supporting the organisation on the smooth implementation of the annual activity.

 “The origination aims to give back to the community. Each will use his or her expertise to enlighten the residents. One person cannot do it alone. Therefore, we see it necessary to use the organization to give back to our community,” he said.

He, however, enjoined participants to keenly listen to the resource persons for their own benefit; adding that this will immensely raise their understanding on the issues. He finally thanked all the sponsors for supporting the organization financially.

Ousman Darboe, senior programme officer at the Department of Health and Education Promotion, gave a presentation on antenatal care service. Darboe explained that women should have series of medical check-ups before getting pregnant and should visit health facilities frequently during their period of pregnancy.

Darboe, who doubles as the guest speaker for the event, urged husbands to accompany their spouses to health facilities to enable them know the status of their wives’ health. 

To ensure safe delivery, Darboe said, pregnant women should have a good and balanced diet for their wellbeing and that of their unborn babies.

Speaking on behalf of the women, Haja Aljuma Bah, commended the association for organising the annual event, and thanked the village women for contributing immensely towards the development of their community.

“Anytime an activity is initiated in the village, the women will work tirelessly as expected to ensure its successful implementation,” she said.

Presenting on rights, freedoms and duties of a citizen, Tijan B. Bah, law students at the University of The Gambia, said the Gambian Constitution mandated every person of age and with stable mind, to be registered as a voter, and to have the right to vote and to be elected; stressing such people have the right to vote and be voted for in all forms of elections. 

Ousman D. Bah, the treasurer of the association, advised the village youth to acquire skills in order to be gainfully employed. This, he said, will enable them attain their goals in their own country.

Saidal Ali Bah, social secretary for the association cum veterinary officer, sensitised livestock owners to care for their animals and protect them against disease. Bah said 26% of Gambian cattle are infected with the contagious Bovina Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), and that livestock officers find it difficult to erase this disease.

“There is a greater need for cattle owners to isolate infected cattle in order to protect the rest of the herd from being infected with disease,” the veterinary officer advised.

Dilating on importance of trees, Alhagie S. Bah, a teacher and member of the association, called on residents to protect trees, saying trees are very essential for human survival.

He advised all and sundry to minimize or stop deforestation and embark on tree planting.

He said trees serve as windbreak, provide food, and ensure effective rainfall.