Bensouda unveils plan to build 30 kilometres of road
Talib Ahmed Bensouda, the mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) has expressed his continuous resolve in bringing unprecedented development to the doorsteps of taxpayers of the Kanifing Municipality.
In an exclusive interview with The Point, Mr. Bensouda described Infrastructure as his top-notch development priority within his municipality in the next years.
Bensouda was recently re-elected as mayor of KMC defeating his formidable rival Bakary Badjie of the National People’s Party (NPP) in a well contested Mayoral Election last month.
He told this reporter that he would continue his track record of bringing the much needed development in Kanifing Municipality (KM), saying his plan is to construct about 23 to 30 kilometres of road.
“I was confident that I was going to win the election. This is because of our track records and it’s because we ran a very good campaign. It was a tough battle. It was like Talib Bensouda vs. The Gambia government. The President was massively campaigning for his national People’s Party (NPP) candidate. It was the only region where the president had three to four rallies, and secondly cabinet ministers were campaigning daily. Ambassadors who live in Kanifing were recalled just to come and campaign for the NPP. It was a tough battle.”
Plans for Kanifing Municipality
Speaking about his plans for the region, Mayor Bensouda said: “It’s to uplift the people of KM and improve the quality of services within the region. We have five main points which are sanitation, which is to develop a recycling facility at the Bakoteh Dumpsite. The second one is urban transportation, which is to introduce an urban transport system. We already set-up a company called KMT with management and board of directors even before the election. The third one is to develop a road network project which is a high priority for the people of KM,” he posited.
The KMC mayor further continued: “We already designed what we called the Kanifing Road Network Project. This will develop 23 to 30 kilometres of roads within the next four years.”
“We also have a municipal market plan with a view to expand from our current markets of 19 to 26 markets. With regard to the expansion of the market, we have already created a company called Kanifing Municipal Markets – which will be developing markets through private investment. The last one is to introduce the first ever housing scheme. This will make up our five point agenda.”
“We also plan to expand our public affairs unit by introducing an office called the Office of the Public Affairs Unit. This is necessary in order to bridge the information gap between the residents of the council and the council itself. These are all things that we will be focusing on. We also continue to invest and strengthen the ‘Mbalit’ project and we will continue to implement the Kanifing Environmental Transformational Programme, which is an EU funded programme. We will continue to implement and ensure its sustainability and also the German funded project at the Bakoteh Dumpsite.”
“What motivated me about the housing scheme was, once upon a time the rent tribunal was at the Kanifing Municipal Council. However, it was later transferred to the Kanifing Magistrate Court. Therefore, as we speak the council has no legislation power or regulatory control over rent prices within the municipality.”
“The reason the issue of rent is out of hand is because the demand is high. More countries, especially in the developed world, are engaging in cheap housing schemes. This is to bring about partnership with the private sector and also to attract grant funding and international loans in order to construct affordable housing that they can rent for cheap or sell for cheap.”
“We have a constraint of lands because KM is the most built-up municipality. We do have very few lands that we can explore. However, our main goals here are partnership. We will be looking for people that have empty lands within the municipality so that we can partner. In fact, people start approaching us since we started discussing this.”
“In terms of where we will be having the funding, we have already set-up a taskforce which comprises financial experts who have worked at national and international levels. We are trying to partner locally and internationally and we will continue engaging the government in this regard. We know things are difficult but we will still extend hands and we will be willing to work with them.”
Source: The Point