By Yunus S Saliu
In his visit to different border posts across the country, Minister Boubacarr Ousmaila Joof and his delegation on day four of his tour visited Sare Ngai Border Post in the Upper River Region.
The Minister and delegation including the governor of Upper River Region who was received by the Gambia security forces at the border post were joined by the Alkalo of Sare Ngai and residents walked to the border for an inspection of the area for firsthand information, especially about the crossing of people and traders between The Gambia and Senegal as African Free Trade Agreement is concerned.
Having a brief meeting with the residents at the border community, lots of challenges facing this popular border post in terms of trade, living, and border demarcation were highlighted to him and the delegation for possible solutions from his Ministry and the government of the Gambia.
Ebrima F Jallow, Secretary General of the Sare Ngai United Youth Association alluded to the outlined challenges facing the community of Sare Ngai which he said include the issue of the area council, not having a toilet facility at the biggest lumo market in the border area.
Also, he disclosed that there is no health facility talk-less of public health officers, with exception of a borehole no public waterborne system, and electricity among other social amenities to make the community proud as a border town.
“Honourable Minister, this lumo was established 3rd of March 1983. As you can see here, every Monday is lumo market, you can only compare this lumo with the Serrekunda market but we lack many things, there is no public toilet people go around the market to defecate and urinate and when the rain falls it erodes it back to the market and different compounds in the community,” Jallow explained.
Sare Ngai is a big community but he said they cannot rear animals because of the lumo, “75% of the animals transporting to Abattoir in Abuko always come through this border and they normally infect our animals with diseases (if they have diseases) when crossing them. So, we need health post and public health officer to help in the surveillance of diseases,” he appealed.
He added that the lumo market area is full of grasses and the environment needs sanitation, as well as water for the use of the people.
The association secretary-general thanked the Minister and his delegation for taking the time to visit the community to know some of the problems affecting trade in the area.
And in return, Minister Baboucarr Ousmaila Joof assured them of positive results.