By Mama A. Touray
The National Human Rights Commission on Thursday received equipment worth D9.4 million from the British High Commission to the Gambia.
The equipment presentation held at the NHRC headquarters in Kotu aimed to boost the NHRC regional presence by providing its two regional offices with vehicles to reach the farthest communities in rural Gambia and other related issues.
The equipment received is two vehicles, motorbikes, laptops, video and photography equipment and billboards, 42 solar panels, 20 batteries of 210amp each, and a 15 KV inverter to solarize the national Secretariat.
Speaking at the handing over event, Emmanuel Daniel Joof, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission said: The two vehicles and motorbikes would greatly facilitate movement to parts of the regions to popularize the work of the Commission, register complaints of human rights violations, and ensure prompt access to justice and remedial actions by reaching the farthest communities in rural Gambia.
He also said “The effective operationalization of the newly opened regional offices, with the requisite technical and vehicular support, would ensure the staff performs their functions optimally, make human rights services easily accessible, and importantly, this will realize the decentralization drive of the Commission and its vision of ‘The Gambia where everyone enjoys their fundamental human rights and freedoms.”
British High Commissioner to the Gambia, David Belgrove added said the British High Commission is pleased to support the NHRC to extend its reach in The Gambia, especially as they have the mandate to ensure that the TRRC recommendations are implemented across the whole of The Gambia.
Human Rights, he said are the foundation of democracy and freedom, noting they need to be protected everywhere including the most remote areas.
However, Commissioner David pointed out that people in rural areas face severe challenges related to accessing, asserting, and maintaining their rights, adding they frequently suffer from discrimination, systematic violations, and historical disadvantage that have affected people working in rural areas for decades.
Meanwhile, Jasong Sanyang, regional administrator North Bank Region in his vote of thanks, expressed gratitude to the British High Commission to the Gambia for the support rendered to them.
“The support you gave today will go a long way in making sure that the operationalization of the regional offices will be optimal and this will give access to the human rights services that we are rendering to the most remote communities,” he said.