By: Abubakar Darboe
As a native of Nuimi Hakalang, I say Alhamdu Lillaah a Million times and a Massive Thank you to the Barrow Government for finally solving the Road woes of the Hakalang people.
Shortly after Asr prayer today, I received a call from my Cousin’s brother informing me that the Tar road has now passed the gates of my compound. Simple as that simple sentence might be, it was ecstatic and sad – sending shivers down my spine!
As a native of Nuimi Lameng, where both my parents were born, my old dad, an Imam, and farmers travel to the village week and week out under the horrendous conditions of our road to make ends meet and see over other family members. I also glimpse his struggle and fatigue whenever I cross fortnights to know the family. At best, it’s like going to hell and back, with the choking annoyance of the grim realities one faces traveling to the place we call home.
Anyone who knows Nuimi can give tales of the immeasurable blessings we are endowed with, from the sea that flanks the region providing abundance to the arable lands that produce enough for her farming populace. After the rainy season, the peasants engage in vegetable gardening, producing varieties of harvests that surpass all regions of the country. We have lovely eco-tourism sites and breathtaking landscapes that amaze the eye. The Kunta Kinteh island sits at the heart of our tourism attraction, and together with FortBullenn, we pride ourselves on the rich history we share with all of Gambia.
With all these beautiful sceneries nestled within one great region, one is baffled to think that access to these beautiful places has made life unfulfilling for most people in this region. For many who migrated to the metropolis, going home is a painful experience. Even the thought of it can be cringing!
I grew up helping my parents in the ‘faros.’ I cannot help but feel the pain of seeing hard-earned produce getting spoiled simply because they couldn’t be transported to BarraMiddlemenen who come for the goods will complain about the challenges of traveling the Hakalang roa,d. For that reason, they’ll pay a pittance to the poor women farmers for something they’ve worked hard for over a whole season. But what other choice do they have? Perhaps.. they refuse to sell at an alarming price and see all their produce rot before their eyes due to not accepting the pittance paid. Had they gotten the required training, they could’ve processed and stored their product. But that’s only possible now because the region has just been electrified. The story is one unending horror movie that our parents endured for over 60 years, and none of the succeeding governments seem to care!! But President Barrow did, and of course, Hon. Omar Darboe. For that, we are eternally grateful!
Therefore, for me and my irks, being thankful and heaping praise on the government has nothing to do with Politics but everything to do with the salvation my people now enjoy due to the opportunities created by the new road and the electricity now wanted. At long last, natives of Upper Nuimi can now travel back to their beloved homes without changing clothes due to dust, fearing accidents due to crooked roads, and spending hours squeezed in a tiny corner of a “feral delegate” just because the potholes are so horrible that the driver must be careful to avoid breakdown.
The mere fact that we can travel safely and sound to Nuimi and see our families and loved ones without enduring unlimited pain, shock,k and fatigue due to horrible roads is ENOUGH! This has a deep meaning for most of us, and at last, the TAXES that we’ve been paying for donkey years has yielded some benefit. LestIi forgets some people have started relocating home and traveling to Kombo daily for work. Isn’t this amazing?
The Road project is ongoing, and we’re VERY hopeful that the entire North Bank will have the opportunity that the rest of the country had and enjoyed for many years. The neglect that hovered over our home has finally been lifted, and looking at the years of suffering and neglect, we can only thank Allaah and the government of His Excellency Barrow government through Honorable Omar Darboe for doing everything it takes to see this dream come to fruition.
Finally, we say WELCOME TO DEVELOPMENT BYE BYE to over 50 years of bad roads.
BYE BYE to over 50 years of darkness
Bye-bye to over 50 years of fear of traveling home
BYE BYE to over 50 years of exorbitant fairs
BYE BYE to over 50 years of stagnation
And WELCOME to the new sunshine of ease and happiness!