Several youths in Janjangbureh, the administrative capital of the central river region, have expressed frustration to the minister of Youth and Sports, Bakary Y. Badjie, about the delay in completing their mini-stadium, which has been renovated for two years without any sign of completion.
When the minister and his delegation arrived at the ground to inspect the field to know the progress of the work, which was supposed to be finished in July 2021 but has been taken up to this date, some young people used placards to show notes of frustration to the minister.
Lamin Ceesay, one of the leaders on the ground, told the minister that Janjangbureh has only one community-owned football pitch and that they are tired of waiting because the work is still at a standstill with no sign of progress.
“We are tired of waiting. This is the only place we have to play our nawettan because the field at Armitage belongs to the school, not the community. Anytime the school has an activity, regardless of the type of match we have, we have to call it off for them,” Lamin voiced while talking to the minister.
According to Lamin, the contractor, Hatab Darboe, always tells them that the ministry still needs to pay him to do the work.
In response to this claim, Ndey Marie Njie, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, said that the ministry had paid over seventy-five percent of the payment, as opposed to what Lamin narrated that the contractor said.
“We have paid him the money. Money is not the issue here. We have paid him something that he didn’t even work for,” she responded.
According to her, the ministry may use legal action against the contractor for not fulfilling his part despite paying over seventy-five percent of the supposed money to be paid to him.
Bakary Y. Badjie, the Minister of Youth and Sports, showed his disappointment over the conditions of the pitch. He vowed to do everything the ministry could to complete the field’s work.
“We want to assure you that we will do our best to ensure that this contract moves ahead with another contractor as soon as possible so that you can use your field,” he assured the youth.
The Janjangbureh field contract began before the December 2021 presidential election. The contract was signed in December 2020, and the work was supposed to be done within six months.
The dressing room is near completion, but the football pitch needs to be in better shape with only one goalpost.