Supporters of the various opposition parties could miss the chance to participate in next Saturday’s planned massive clean-up exercise in Banjul to be spearheaded by the Gambian leader.
With the rains just setting in, the President will be leading a battle on waste in the capital which has witnessed a turnaround in terms of roads and drainage infrastructure under his watch.
Banjul is susceptible to flooding but President Adama Barrow has over the years invested massively in road infrastructure.
Government described the investment a worthwhile venture as, it hopes, the Banjul Project, will ease the movement of people around the city as well as provide the much-needed solution to the capital’s perennial flooding problem.
The project’s regenerative potential was also in mind as hopes were that it will help in repopulating the city which has witnessed a massive population dispersal over the past few years.
However, it would appear the Banjul Project has only exacerbated the flooding issue in some parts of the city.
Last year, parts of Tobacco Road were inundated and there was massive displacement of people and destruction to property.
Residents believed ‘shoddy’ road works and drainage construction by Gai Construction were responsible for the inundation.
The Gambian leader later visited the affected areas in an exercise of ‘generosity of spirit’ to the victims as well as to urge residents not to politicize the flooding.
But the President is this time around spearheading some of the countermeasures against flooding a little over a week after the arrival of the country’s first rain.
Not only that but as the country is faced with another threat-Malaria- with the rainy season rolling on, the country’s chief executive will be in the streets of Banjul this Saturday, commanding positions in an all-out war on rubbish, if what his party said on Thursday is any clue.
But the city cleanup was planned to be all-NPP affair as those opposition supporters, who may want to attend it, may not because everyone coming to the ‘set-settal’ is being urged to don NPP shirts, effectively excluding some members of the opposition who may wish to help in the cleaning of their city but may feel marginalised.
A letter signed by NPP deputy PRO, Seedy Njie, urged anyone wishing to take part in Saturday’s ‘blitz’ against waste to come in NPP T-shirts.
Meanwhile, some have criticized President Barrow for allowing the politicisation of an issue that should assume a national character.
“The willingness and humility expressed in the President’s objective to clean up Banjul this Saturday is inspiring only if it was conducted without lacing it with politics,” a resident of Banjul, Badou Faal, told JollofNews.
“I think the best thing the Presidency could have done was to entrust the organisation of the event to technicians not politicians because this is about health and safety,” Mamour Sarr told JollofNews.
“The planned-Banjul clean-up exercise should be a city-wide or even a national affair and not politicised,” commented a Banjul resident.
Meanwhile, many said had it not been politicised the move could spur excitement and passion in many over the cleanliness of their environment since its not coercive but hugely significant to the health of the environment.