By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The European Union (EU) in partnership with Action Aid International The Gambia (AAITG) on Wednesday handed over a D2 million garden project to the community of Kumbaney in the Niamina West District of the Central River Region. The ceremony was held at the premises of the new garden and was well attended too.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the country director of Action Aid International, The Gambia, Mr. Omar Badjie, commended the EU for funding the Kumbaney women garden project. According to Mr. Badjie, the project is part of the EU’s project on Promoting Women’s Socio-economic Rights. He also seized the opportunity to call on the community of Kumbaney to work with agriculture officials in the region in order for them to realise maximum gains from the project.
‘We bring this garden project to your community with the hope that you will be able to manage the project and what you should do is to open an account for the project for its sustainability,’ Mr. Badjie urged the community of Kumbaney. He also advised the community to take good care of the garden project so that other communities within the country can benefit from similar projects. The Action Aid country director further informed the community of Kumbaney that his office wants their women’s garden project to be a sample project through-out the country.
‘‘It will be fitting for us to bring or direct people to come and see your garden project as an example for other communities,’’ Mr. Badjie further indicated. Mr. Badjie also hailed the community for the support given to his staff during their visit to the project site. He also paid similar gratitude to the contractors for the timely completion of all the project work and other related activities.
Speaking earlier, the chief of Niamina West, Nganye Dampha expressed his profound thanks and appreciation to the EU and AAITG for funding the much needed project for the community of Kumbaney. The chief further urged the community of Kumbaney not to fail EU, AAITG and other donors ‘‘because’’ he went on, ‘‘three communities were assessed for the project in the district but it was Kumbaney community who were lucky to get the project.’ ’He urged the community of Kumbaney especially the women gardeners not to plant any tree inside the garden adding that the project is not meant for an orchard.
For his part, the project coordinator at AAITG, Pansaw Nyassi informed the community that the size of the garden project was measured at 2 hectares and that it has 2 new toilets and 8 concrete line wells and a waiting shed. ‘‘The area of the garden can accommodate 780 standard beds which if used and managed properly will yield immense benefits not only for the community of Kumbaney but for the whole country at large,’’ Mr. Nyassi posited adding that the project is all about empowering women and some that some women in other communities in Niamina West are also involved in tie and dye while others are into poultry business.
All those who spoke at the ceremony thanked the EU Corporation and AAITG for their timely intervention.