By Mustapha Jarju
Floriculturist, a local association, has claimed over one million dalasi lost caused by the road construction along the Bertil Harding Highway, the Public Relations Officer of the Gambia Floriculturists Association, Mumminu Baldeh told The Voice in an interview.
“Looking at the mango trees that were cleared by the caterpillar they harvest a lot of money out of that, which is a huge loss to them. A lot of people have lost their products not only the plants but even the pots that they planted in and most importantly our big trees were all lost in the demolition.”
According to him they received a letter from the office of the Physical Planning prior to the destruction, informing them to move 40meters away from the main road which they did, but the plants that were already grown cannot be moved due to lack of materials and space.
He explained that when the contractor of the road construction come to them , he told them that they don’t need 40meters but they only need 30meters and that has caused many of the floriculturists to return back but eventually when the machine came for destruction they have seen them taking more than 40meters.
“We are not given any promise of compensation but to us it is just sad, because this is where we earn our living and we have staff`s that we are paying on monthly basis and 95% of gardeners here have family and they feed their family through this,”
PRO Baldeh added that if they have legal support from either government or the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) they would want to have discussion with the contractors of the road construction and see how they can be compensated for the damage caused on them.