JAC Chairman Laments Impact of Covid-19 on Revenue
With Fatou Dahaba
The Chairman of Janjangbureh Area Council Ebrima Janko Sanneh Said covid-19 has really affect their revenue as businesses are not performing and they may face challenges in paying salaries because they are not getting anything from rates and taxes and their collection is not enough compare to before.
He said his council is a small one but they pay almost 500 thousand dalasi every month on salaries and now the collection that is coming from people is very minimal, this he said will encourage criminal activity because people have to survive and if they don’t survive in the right way they will survive in the wrong way.
Janjangbureh is one of the smallest councils in the Gambia and among the 8 eight councils with a small revenue compare to Kanifing and Brikama area councils. There are 12 councilors within the council, 5 are UDP while 7 are GDC.
‘I got it more difficult than any other Chairperson because the educational background of my councilors is extremely challenging and must of them do not understand the leadership and they are answerable to him. And now there has been changes must of them understand what I stand for “credibility” which is the most important thing and now partisan politics is aside and we are thinking of development.’
The council is currently building a new head office and resident for staff which is now completed and the contract was given to GAMJobs.
Chairman Sanneh said they fought for the Central government subvention and this year’s his council is sub vented with 1million dalasi. The money is spent on building a health pose in Sare Suffi which is 10 kilometers away from his council. He said the people of this village have been crying for decades especially the pregnant women and suckling mothers who find it difficult to visit Bansang hospital which is also kilometers away from them.
The Council is also dealing with boreholes as water has also been a cry for the community and the boreholes can supply both the health pose and community when complete.
Another beneficiary is Sambuya which is on the Eastern side of the high way and people their move about 3 to 4 kilometers just to get water and the village is about 500 meter away from the high way as well as Mbayan a wollof community and Dankunku Fula Kunda are all supply with water.
He said the interest of his council is on agriculture because the salvation of people is on agriculture and that’s what people know.
“If Barrow government is committed to uplift the livelihood of people they will have to provide tractors for farmers to help them. The farming community should be left on their own to what do they have ever been doing and just under guidance and they will provide the man power because they live in the area.
Meanwhile Mr. Sanneh said he wants to see a council where people can easily work it doesn’t matter whether you are a representative or not and people should understand how council work and they should work according to their own principles so as to go down to understand people who own the council.
His take on covid-19 he said, is that millions of dalasi which have been discuss should have equip the hospitals while asking where are does millions?
He added that National Assembly’s select committee on covie-19 fund said should h make sure the covid-19 money go to where it supposed to rightfully go, rather than to sit at National Assembly chambers and argue over things.
He also disclose that the government is not making anything meaningful in the fight against covid-19 noting the only positive thing was the security officers who are there to observe the curfew.
However he said his council have not done enough in the fight against covid-19 because it needs funding which is not available but they are sensitizing people on the covid-19 and to adhere to the safety precautionary measures by WHO and the ministry of health.
In this vein he call on the central government to come to their level as they are between them and the community because they can easily talk to them as councilors who live within.
Jangjangbureh is a town founded in 1832, on Janjangbureh Island also known as MacCarthy Island, in the Gambia River in Eastern Gambia. It was the capital of the former Central River Division and is best known as home to Gambia’s main prison. The Wassu stone circle lie 22km northwest of Lamin Koto, on the north bank across from Janjangbureh.
The island is known locally as MacCarthy Island and is located in what used to be called MacCarthy Island division. The Island is accessed by bridge from the south bank, and small boat ferries or government ferry on the north bank.