The rural community of Tanene in the Kombo East District of the West Coast Region wants its own village, Alkalo.
Situated 26km south of Banjul, the capital city, Tanene village has a thick forest and mainly cashew trees.
The primarily Christian and Manjago village and some Muslim residents together amicably and mainly depend on farming for their livelihood.
Over the weekend, community members called a meeting to discuss their plight, as they feel neglected in the village’s development and decision-making processes.
The community of Tanene is under the Alkali of Sotokoi, the neighboring village.
“The issue of the Alkaloship has been dragging for years since the early 2000s after the demise of the previous Alkali. Now, we want the Alkali to be within the village, not outside the village, which will benefit Tanene village’s people.
“The Alkalo being away from Tanene brings us many difficulties and problems. If you want to sign a document, you walk up to Sotokoi, said Emmanuel Mendy, a representative of the village who spoke to TAT.
Robert Gomez, another native of the village, said they have spoken to the relevant people, but their demands fell on deaf ears.
“We visited the district chief, not once, not twice, but the chief didn’t buy our idea when we told him we needed our own Alkali in the village.
“There is this conspiracy of just keeping the Alkali in that village who is overseeing our village, and we feel that’s not fair, it’s not right. Something must change. We want somebody who will live in this village. They say who feels it knows it,” he lamented.
This reporter contacted the Chief of Kombo East, Bakary Sanyang, but he would not comment.
When driving from Faraba to Sotokoi, there are visible mining sites in the area, which environmental activists are complaining about.
A youth leader, Lawrence Gomez, complained about the mining affecting their environment.
“We, the youths of Tanene, don’t have anything here, no reserve land for a football field; we don’t have a youth center, nor reserve land for a market, and hospital or any development that should come to the village. This land is all destroyed; before you enter Tanene, it is all quarry area.