By: Foday Manneh
Following the commencement of a massive demolition exercise by the physical planning in the Kanifing area, residents say there has been growing tension among settlers in an urban residential district.
“Social tension erupts between the people affected and those unaffected by the activity,” a resident, Muhammed Lamin Sanyang, told TAT.
“The affected people think that homes on the opposite side are the initiators of the exercise. Currently, there is friction as neighbors are arguing and fighting,” Sanyang said.
The said demolishing is taking place on the road that separates Kanifing Estate and Kanifing Layout on the opposite side, stretching from the Kanifing General Hospital to the Methodist High School.
According to Sanyang, the initial proposal was to demolish both sides, but after a widespread complaint from residents, contractors decided to change their decision by focusing on one side.
Another resident who preferred to remain anonymous told this medium that a resident of the area is one of the authorities behind the project and is playing a big part in ensuring its success.
He revealed that the initial notice was sent to them in January 2022. After that, they consulted with the authorities on the possibility of compensation, but this was rejected.
Mr. Sanyang, who seems to know about the project, said compensation is necessary for the victims as their lives are being affected.
“They need to conduct a rap study of the resettlement plan; if the number is less than 200, you will have to prepare an EJ rap that is meant to evaluate and assess the properties that will be demolished,” Sanyang explains.
The Kanifing resident expressed concern about the losses incurred by some of the affected people, most of whom he said are underprivileged families headed by widows.
A notice sent to residents of Kanifing before the removal or demolition of buildings or fences erected as a result of a no-building permit was seen by this medium.
“That is not true. They are demolishing because they want to construct a road, and we, the people of Kanifing, are not anti-development, but things have to go through the right processes.” He stressed.