Landing B Sanneh, President, Gambia Association of Local Government Athorities and chairperson of Mansakonko Area Councilof GALGA
Latrikunda Sabiji, 5th August, 2020: With the increase in the number of people contracting coronavirus disease in The Gambia, The Gambia Association of Local Government Authorities [GALGA] is calling on the Government of the Gambia alland all the eight local councils to be more focus on the welfare of their people to contain local transmissions. The Association has learnt with great concern, the recent escalation of COVID 19 rate of tramission and related death. This calls for more rapid proactive actions, as the figures continue upwards daily. As we liuve through this trying times, our concerted efforts as a people and country is the only sustainable way forward. It is about the lives of our people. Indeed, It is about the future of our country. Hence, our ability as a sovereign people is under test.
We ar aware that eEven before the presidential declaration to impose state of public emergency due to the pandemic, Ccouncils have been providing support to their citizens in the provision of food aid and preventive materials and knapsack sprayers, complimented by mass awareness creation. However, more pragmatic interventions are now required than ever before as the convenience of time is currently running out slowly.
As the umbrella body of all the Llocal Ggovernment Aauthorities in the country, GALGA is enormously concerned with the fast spreading of the pandemic in the country. Almost all the new confirmed cases are contracted through community transmissions which make it imperative for local ideas, including local institutions and authorities to be applied to avoid further spreading.
The lives and livelihood of the people must be the responsibility of the government as the primary duty bearer but it is also a natural duty on every citizen to adhere to the preventive measures given by health experts.
I line with the Local Government Act and Local Governance Decentralization, GALGA is therefore calling on The Governernment of The Gambia to closely all theto work with the Llocal Government Authorities across the countrycouncils to allocate considerate considerable time and resources in the provision of preventive materials to their people and where necessary, increase the provision of food aid. We also urge them to immediately engage all their councilorsall the decentralized structures to intensify sensitization se their wards to at the level of the communities in order to strengthen their understanding of the dangers of the pandemic and how to prevent it.
Councils are also urged to increase the provision of sanitary materials at markets and to continue helping their people tax payers in line with the health regulations. People must not be panic but they should be regularly sensitized to understand that coronavirus is preventable if all the health precautionary measures, including regular hand washing, social distancing and wearing of facemask is observed.
Coronavirus is a serious global health-threatening disease that has now changed the world order, forcing governments to impose lock-downs and close both land and airspace to contain its spread.
GALGA will however propose a regional lockdown strategy for a considerable timeframe considering the unpredictable level of local reemission. This will allow easy management of cases and tracing of contacts of infected persons as well as control the spread of the pandemic.
In conclusion, we urge all Gambians to be alert and remain vigilant to protect themselves and their families from contracting the virus. We pray that the Almighty Allah continue to protect our beloved nation and the world and kill wipe this nuisance global pandemic from the face of the earth soon.
Landing B Sanneh
President, GALGA and chairperson of Mansakonko Area Council