By Makutu Manneh
Youths of Upper Niumi Constituency have requested The Gambia Government to provide them with better tourism services, construct skills centres and improve the lives of farmers.
The demands were made at the ongoing nationwide tour by President Adama Barrow.
Modou Ida Bah, a representative of the youths of Upper Niumi at a meeting held at Chilla, conveyed the issues confronting them to the President and his delegation. He said Lower Nuimi has historical sites and they should be revived particularly the ones in Albrada and Juffureh. He said they have sites that are capable of generating income for the country.
He urged the Minister of Tourism to pave ways for the youths to involve themselves in the tourism sector so that the youths can have jobs.
“This will prevent them from using the back way to Europe,” he said.
He also complained that there is no skills centre in the whole of Upper Niumi.
“We are pleading to President Barrow to open a skills centre for youth of this constituency,” he said.
Mr. Bah said the youths form the majority of the population and that the government should support them particularly by creating employment opportunities for them. He said the rainy season this year wasn’t good; therefore, there is no millet, groundnut, maize or rice in Upper Niumi.
“I think the government should find ways to help the under privileged people,” he said.
The representative of Chilla Alikalo told the President that they are faced with having access to health. He said their whole constituency has one health post located in Kerr-Cherno which according to him always lacks medicine.
“We want Barrow to assist this health post with medicines and also establish another health facility for us,” he said.
Yamundow Drammeh said they do not have access to water supply, roads and electricity.
“If we have electricity we will be very pleased,” she said
Hamat N.K. Bah, the Minister of Tourism on his part told the youths of Upper Niumi that Phase two of the tourism development plan is focusing on Niumi. He said the problem they have now is lack of reliable ferry service due to lack of ferry that can take the tourists across the sea at night.
“When we have a reliable ferry we will have good hotels in these areas,” he said.
He also said his ministry is in the process of constructing a 4 – star hotel in Upper Niumi and building another one in Barra. He added that they are right now talking with investors.
President Barrow has already met with 8 Districts and people in all these places are complaining of having problems of hospitals, ambulance, roads, schools, skills centres, and lack of water supplies among other demands. The President has already visited some communities in Lower Niumi, Upper Niumi, Jokadou, Lower Baddibu, Central Baddibu, Illiassa and Sabach Sanjal Districts.
President Barrow and his Ministers have made promises to these Districts that their demands form part of the National Development Plan (NDP) and their concerns are noted.
During this tour President Adama Barrow is expected to hold 44 meetings countrywide and he is also expected to visit development projects related to agriculture, healthcare, youth entrepreneurship and education throughout The Gambia.