By Mustapha Jarju & Akitania Nzally
The Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), on Wednesday, 28th September 2022, received a total of nine ambulances, six fire engines, and two security vehicles from the Ebou Mala Children Charity Foundation (EMCCF) and the Emergency Service Aid Charity (ESAC).
The donation was officially received by KMC Mayor Honourable Talib Ahmed Bensouda at the council.
Speaking at the event, Kajali Janneh, the deputy CEO of KMC welcomed the gesture and said the donation will play a vital role because The Gambia is a developing country and in need of such support.
Mr. Janneh thanked the donors from Germany, UK, and Spain for the initiative while he extended gratitude to the Ebou Mala Children Charity Foundation.
Honourable Talib Ahmed Bensouda, Mayor of KMC in his speech appreciated the donors for helping the KMC and the Gambia at large. He said the council has the vision to transform the landscape of its municipality through interventions across different sectors including infrastructure, environment, sanitation, transport, health, education, and community development.
“The council`s main objective is to improve services in support of the overall improvement of quality of life for the people within its borders. The Gambia faces many challenges with limited resources and, a small economy, to effectively respond to emergencies such as fire incidents, ambulatory, policing and security servicing we do not have the tools required,” KMC Mayor said.
He added that even though the Fire Rescue Service is doing a tremendous job, from January 2022 to date there were fifty-eight fire incidents in KMC with two fatalities, and this is due to population growth, poor physical planning, poor electrical wiring, saying with more resources they will be able to respond to this situation.
Mayor Bensouda thanked the donors for their timely intervention in responding to their needs it will support the relevant ministries in the provision of valuable services to the residents of Kanifing Municipality and the Gambian people. He, therefore, urged all beneficiaries to take responsibility for ensuring that the resources are maintained and always ready to serve when called upon.
Karamo Ceesay, the councillor for Tallinding South said, his community experienced a series of fire outbreaks in 2019, while access to the emergency response from the Fire Rescue Services was a problem. He said this escalated situations in his ward.
“Whenever we knock on the door of the Fire Rescue Service they respond but very lately, which sometimes provoke the resident and resulting to violent attack from .”
Mr. Samba Bah the president of the Ebou Mala Children Charity Foundation said the project was established a few years ago and they were donating school items and bicycles to students in rural Gambia and also providing scholarships and medical support to community health centers.
“This is the first time we are partnering with the Emergency Aid Service Charity both in Germany Spain and the UK to venture into this donation to the KMC.” Mr, Bah explained
He said the challenges they faced in bringing the donated vehicles from Europe to the Gambia by land. And thank all those who contributed to making this activity a successful one.
The leader of the German delegation Heike Kottmonn said the vehicles are donated to support the council and they hope that it helps the council in providing services to the residents of KMC.
The project manager of the ESAC, Mr. Adain Goundry said the project started back in 2019, and since then a lot has been done.
He said his team is proud that they managed to achieve their mission which they believe will go a long way in supporting the people of KMC.
He thanked all the people from the UK, Germany, and Spain for their endless support and contribution to making this project a success.