By: Kebba AF Touray

The Lower River Region’s town of Soma was the venue for this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations and the president of The Republic Adama Barrow, on Saturday 31st March 2018, presided over the 62nd Edition of the event.

The celebration was attended by the Ministers of Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Tourism, Youth and Sport, Local Government, National Assembly Members, Chiefs, the Barrow Youth Movement and the Press, amongst others.

Speaking in his welcome remarks, the Alkalo of Jarra Soma Afang Demba Darboe, expressed delight in receiving such important guests in his town and all others who were in attendance, especially the president. He thanked everyone for gracing the occasion and urged the populace to respect and accept the leadership of Adam Barrow. He however disclosed that water, electricity supply and road infrastructure was their main challenges and implored on the president to make these history in Soma.

On his part, the Chief of Jarra West, Yaya Jarjusey, after the usual welcome remarks, expressed concern on cattle theft and that of small ruminants in his district and called on the President to help curb the menace. Chief Jarjusey prayed for peace and tranquility to prevail in the country.

The Governor of LRR Fatou Bojang Samateh Manneh, expressed gratitude to all those who contributed towards the success of the event and stated that the problems affecting her region are in the areas of road infrastructure, health facilities, water and electricity and appealed to the President to solve the problems. She lauded the women and youth of LRR for being responsive to her call and called on Government to help empower them. She appealed to the President to look into issue of horticulture and empower women in this enterprising self-employment.

Tombong Darboe, Fatou Yabo, Jankeh Joof, Aja Jongfolo Jaiteh, Penda Mballow among other Lady Councilors, cited water, horticulture, storage and health facilities, roads, seeds and fertilizer, as serious challenges, hampering the work of the women and they all implored on the president for assistance in those areas.

Sanusey Kamateh on behalf of the Barrow Youth Movement, said Barrow’s presidency is supported by all the seven political parties and an Independent Candidate; that the movement aims to support Barrow’s leadership in his reconciliation, unification and development endeavors is not against any political party. He urged Gambians to support President Barrow in his development aspirations.

On his part, President Barrow assured the gathering that his Government values women; that the positions of Director of Press, Office of the President and the Vice President, are held by women; that these are clear testimonies to what he said and that these people are working tirelessly in empowering Gambian Women.

“It is high time to put words into actions and develop the country. The days of talking are over”, said President Barrow. He stressed that the aftermath of 22 years of bad Governance cannot be regulated in one or five years; that change was possible due to the unity of Gambians and urged all to keep up that momentum and contribute to national development; that the statements made by Ministers, call for unity and joining hands in developing the country.

President Barrow added that the Coalition is still intact and shares one vision geared towards National Development. He pledged that there is a 400 kilometer road project that will benefit Kiang, Wuli, Baddibu and Kombo, to ensure that all benefit from the fruit of their hard work.

“It is Women’s Day and I hope such events will be held in other regions to ensure inclusiveness. I thank the Women and Barrow National Youth Movement for Development, for their dedication to National Development. We will give you all the support in your strive to develop the country”, concluded Barrow.

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