with Abdoulie G Dibba

This Column is meant to monitor and report on issues that concern the people of the rural area in terms of how LIFE OF THE RURAL PEOPLE 4they are facilitating or hindering their development.

This columnist has visited the Nuimis, Jokadu, Baddibous, Saloums and Lower Fulladou District in which he sought the opinion of women and young girls with regard to their daily drudgery and its impact on their educational and economic empowerment.

It is apt to state that a country’s growth and development is fuelled by various components in its economy.

However, the ultimate goal for sustainable growth and development depends on the strengths and capabilities of its human resources.

Sixty percent of the population is young people and young people in rural areas are the future of agriculture and other rural industries, but often lack the guidance and support necessary to fully contribute to the development of their communities, thereby fuelling the vicious cycle of rural underdevelopment and poverty. Acknowledging and addressing their needs and aspirations is vital for local and national growth.

This is precisely the reason why this column will be publishing the views of young girls and women in rural areas in this and subsequent editions for the consumption of policy makers and rural developmentalists.

It is an uncontestable fact that adequate and safe drinking water with a labour saving device as power source, is important for human health and well-being as well as economic production, and sustainable development.

Hence, failure to ensure the above, hindered the educational and economic empowerment of Women and young girls, who are the major role-players in accessing and carrying water.

Talking to a young girl in a well in Jokadou, Kaddy Ceesay said she is in Grade Nine and could rate herself as an average student based on her school report.

She noted that the drudgery at the rural due to the lack of income and labour saving devices are tumbling blocks to the educational advancement of young girls in rural Gambia.

According to her, the time and energy they spent in fetching water for the family need, the pounding of the daily meals, the laundries, the cooking and the farm working do prevent them from attending regular classes and have no time for their books after school hours.

Kaddy stated that “if we are assisted with laboring saving devices, the young girls in the rural area will excellent in education”.

Even though there are other challenges hindering our educational performance like the lack of electricity in Jokadou, the greatest hinderance to our educational performance is the drudgery,” stated Kaddy Ceesay.