By Kebba Jeffang
The Director of Press and Public Relations at the office of the President, Amie Bojang-Sissoho, on July 13, urged for public calmness amid persistent reports of external security threats by deserters, saying there is ‘‘no cause for alarm’’. She said this at the weekly press conference she convenes at the temporal Office of the President in Fajara, to update journalists on the activities of the president. The issues of electricity, recent environmental activities, and maternal mortality, were also discussed.
“President Barrow is aware of the reports regarding possible security threats to government, but the Gambia government is very aware of the fact that any external force must come through our neighboring countries or by sea,” she said at the press conference held in Fajara.
Bojang-Sissoho said the Gambia’s security officers are vigilant and they are working in close partnership with their security partners in neighboring countries to avert any possible threats.
“Government wishes to reassure the general public that there is absolutely no cause for undue alert regarding this report. President Barrow urges everyone to continue working together towards the countries continued peace and stability,” she concluded.
Aside the security, she said the government of the Gambia found it necessary to intervene to open the Bakoteh dumpsite to avert any serious consequence.
“We believe that its continuous closure may cause serious consequence to the entire nation. Waste management is clearly one of President Barrow’s top priorities. The dumpsite is now open for business until a proper place is found for another dumpsite,” she said.
She said the said dumpsite has been in use for about 30 years, indicating that the change of location cannot be automatic. She informed that the government has signed a contract with Continental Africa to transform waste into energy.
She said the government has received from World Bank this week, a total amount of $56 million amid the government’s economic crisis caused by the previous government.
“The government has also made some strategic decisions to revise the 2017 budget to better align expenditure to the available resource. The government also conducted a staff audit both in the civil service and among the security forces, to clean up the public sector pay role,” she said.
Mrs. Bojang Sosoho added that the President is committed to reforms to address the political, social and economic challenges and his government will continue to work with the World Bank on measures to revitalize our economy and improve growth.
On the electricity situation, she said the government has taken step towards improving electricity supply as NAWEC and the Senegalese Electricity Company signed a memorandum of understanding that will strengthen energy supply in both countries.
The press director also faulted the report on maternal health saying the government respects the reproductive health and rights of women and will promote women empowerment. She said the government will not revise laws that seek to promote the healthy wellbeing of women and children.
“Reports on the reduction of the maternity rate from 6 to 3 months in the Gambia, are untrue,” she said.
She said the Gambian leader has joined his African counterparts in Addis Ababa to attend his first appearance at the African Union Summit early this month to support the theme of the 29th African Union summit, harnessing the youth demographic dividend through investing in youths, to promote gender and youth development.