Deputies at the National Assembly Members have raised concerns over the state and welfare of the people of their respective Constituencies yesterday, during the adjournment debate of the third ordinary session of the 2017 Legislative year.
Each National Assembly Member was given seven minutes instead of the regular fifteen minutes of the time stipulated in the Standing Order Act. This aroused concerns from members which prompted the NAM for Serrekunda, Hon. Halifa Sallah to refer the Honourable Speaker of the Assembly to the Provisions of the Standing Order Act. The speaker held on her previous standing that seven minutes will be given.
Hon. Babagalleh Jallow, Member for Sanimentereng Consitituency told his fellow law makers that the Tanka Tanka psychiatric hospital has been neglected by Government; that the majority of patients at this hospital are mainly youth who have the right to be looked after and supported for them to regain normal lives; that their welfare condition is below expectation and that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare rarely visits them. The honourable member decried the food that is served, which he said lacks the proper nutrients; that the electricity issue is another problem for both patients and workers because they stay at night without light and persistently live in darkness. He narrated a scenario where a security man sustained a broken arm after being assaulted by one of the patients as he was moving in the dark.
Hon. Lamin J. Sanneh said the drainage system of Brikama is in very bad state with stagnant water in the community. He said many houses have been affected due to the poor drainage system. He said the cost of water in the town is D5 per bucket which he described to be unfavourable. He talked about the condition of the health Center in the community, which he said needs to be considered by Government.
Hon. Sulayman Saho, NAM for Central Badibou said there is an urgent need for Eco-tourism. He said there is need to support the fisheries sub sector because the quantity of fish in the country is very low. He said there is need to have river transportation that will link Banjul to Basse and also Kiang and Badibou. He urged the Foreign Ministry to be wise in its way of entering into bilateral agreements. He said the Gambia has limited natural resources and there is need to jealously guard the natural resources of the country. He said there is need to look into the issue of over speeding in the country. He said drivers pay less regard to traffic regulation and this results to loss of lives of the citizens.
The NAM of Lower Nuimi, Hon. Mahtarr M. Jeng said Ministers need to collaborate with the NAMs in their pursuit of national development. He urged the ministers to be active when dealing with National Assembly Members. He said Kunta Kinteh Island is disregarded by Government. He urged that if the Island is not looked into, it may one day prove to be valueless to the country. He averred that tourism provides the country with revenue that is useful to national development.
In his speech, the NAM for Kombo East said Government through the Ministry of Energy, should provide stable and consistent electrical supply. Hon. Lamin F.M. Conta said his constituency has not been privileged with electricity supply. He said development cannot be achieved in the absence of electricity; that Tumani Tenda village is a tourist attraction and urged the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to visit the place. He said the road network in his constituency is bad. He called on Ministry of Trade to work on strategies in order to bring a reduction in the prices of the basic commodities because they are daily needs that one cannot go without.
For his intervention, the NAM for Latrikunda Sabiji said the hospital in Latrikunda lacks basic equipment. He said the hospital is a major one and the surrounding such as Wellingara, Taboko etc., come there for treatment. He said most of the times, patients are referred to other health centers because of the lack of materials at those health Center. He said sometimes the hospital stays for over 24 hours without electricity and to travel from Tabokoto to Westfield is a night mere due to the heavy and constant traffic congestion. He said with the new Gambia, Government needs to be action oriented in order not to fail like the former regime. He said the tax that is levied on Banks is not fair because the banks pay 30% of their income on the salary of staff, most of whom are Gambians. He called on Government to look into the issue.
The NAM of Bundung Kunda Constituency, said since there is an Established Commission of Inquiry that is designed to probe into the dealings of the former leader, and many people are wearing shirts bearing his photo. He said there is need to look into these issues because it may lead to an agitation. He talked about the recent floods that has affected his constituency. He thanked the Ministry of Health for changing the name of Jammeh Foundation for Peace Hospital to Bundung Maternal Hospital. He said the hospital is a major health facility and receives referrals from Latrikunda, Banjulinding and other areas. He said if condition of the facility is improved, it will reduce expenditure that Government gives to Riders for Health.
The NAM for Illiassa said Custom Officers are involved in bribery and corruption. He said the Ministry of Finance has set a target for them to produce over D6 Million. Hon. Dembo KM Camara said this compels Custom Officers to be involved in such activities. He said this is not encouraging and many people are facing challenges over that issue.
For his part, the NAM for Old Yundum said his constituency is not privileged to have land for farming and that there is no fish landing site; that the constituency lacks tourist attraction. He said the Constituency lacks a public Senior Secondary School and when the time arises, the youth go to other places to have senior secondary education because of the unavailability of a public school; that there are no skill centers and the youth are idling without any engagement because there is no available skills center; that there is also no Major Health facility in his constituency and people go to other facilities to acquire medication and treatment. The NAM of Old Yundum said the road condition is very bad especially the roads that link Youna and Labakoreh to Sukuta. He said there are only three health facilities in the entire constituency of fourteen villages.
Hon. Fatoumata Jawara, the NAM for Tallinding Constituency said that her constituents get water between the late hours of 3am to 5am. She said Tallinding is part of the heart of Kanifing Municipality but yet it has bad roads. She said the Tallinding Upper Basic lacks sanitation and the conditions in the school are not conducive for students.