By Mamadou Dem
Mr. Ansumana Fatty, erstwhile caretaker of Crab Island Upper Basic School approached Foroyaa’s office almost with tears after he was notified by the Banjul City Council (BCC) to vacate the premises of the school.
In an interview with him, he informed this paper that he has been a staff of the said school since1994; adding that due to the nature of his job he was accommodated in the school by Pa Faal, former Principal of the school.
According to him other principals that came after Mr. Faal allowed him to continue living in the school. “I have been living with my family in the said school since 1994 during which period, I and my wife planted Bananas and ‘Nana’ to support our children’s school fees and feeding.”
“During the rainy season, we grow rice in the school and make good harvest for our survival but now that am asked to leave the place, I have no other option but to appeal to the authorities, Mayor Abdoulie Bah in particular, to allow me continue occupying the premises,” said the desperate 70 year old.
“Asking me to vacate the place within a week is a total dismay as I have nowhere to live with my family,” he added.
According to Mr. Fatty, he was not employed at the said school as a watch man but rather he was a caretaker. “My responsibility is to ensure that the school is clean. I was not mandated to be overseeing the place during the night but it was out of good will and humanity that I decided to be looking after the place as I was giving a free house to live in.”
He said since Crab Island is no more operating, the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) deem it prudent to relocate or transfer him to Wesley Lower Basic School under the same portfolio. “This school is not big compared to Crab Island. I was therefore not avail with a house but was allowed to continue residing at my former work place.”
Concerning a letter emanating from Banjul City Council (BCC) asking Mr. Fatty to vacate on grounds that metallic doors are missing from the school, he refuted the allegation that the doors were missing.
“I reported the matter to the police who came to arrest them. They were detained at Crab Island Police Post till the following day and got released after securing a bail from their families. The case is still pending and the metallic doors are in custody of the police,” said Fatty.
The police at Crab Island Station confirmed being in custody of the metallic doors; adding that they are still trying to trace out the culprits. “It is because of that, we did not hand over the doors to BCC,” said one of the police officers. However the police denied conducting any arrest on grounds that the moment the culprits knew the persons they attempted to sell the doors knew where they took them from, they took it on their heels and couldn’t be trace since then.
Mayor Abdoulie Bah intimated that government handed over the school to BCC in order to enable them erect a Multipurpose Skills Centre. He said this will help minimize Youth Migration.
According to him, when the school was handed over to them in 2016 all windows and metallic doors were intact. He therefore outlined that Mr. Fatty would vacate the premises because BCC intends to accommodate about three watchmen to be supervising the place during the construction of the skill Centre. “I’ve even instructed my engineer for an installation of light in the place and our partners in Belgium went for a site visit to the place,” said the Mayor.