By Alagie Manneh
Former permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture Suruwa B Wawa Jaiteh died in a hospital Saturday evening after a brief illness.
The Bakau-born agric expert was 71 years old.
A family spokesman said the former rice specialist died from complications due to hiccup, pneumonia, and Covid-19.
Mr. Jaiteh attended Bakau primary and Gambia high School, Yundum College, Njala, the University of Sierra Leone, and University of Philippines, Los Banos. He also did a six-month attachment at the University of California, Davis.
Mr. Jaiteh started work with the Department of Agriculture as an irrigation agronomist, rice specialist and was credited for promoting tidal irrigation as a dependable alternative to lift pump production systems. He served as the first director of Agriculture of the Gambia River Basin Development Organisation (OMVG) based in Dakar, Senegal.
He later retired from the civil service to start a consultancy, however, he later worked as permanent secretary, Department of State for Agriculture (DoSA) where he pioneered innovative programmes and projects.
“He was a gentle and kind-hearted man who liked other people a lot and always wanted to help them,” his nephew Landing Jaiteh, said.
Mr Jaiteh left behind a wife and several children.
For the past several years, Suruwa was also a regular contributor on Standard Newspaper, writing on different topics ranging from agriculture, food security to politics.