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 Open Gambia: OIC 50km demolished properties?
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Posted - 26 Mar 2024 :  09:08:50  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Open Gambia Platform (OG) received allegations that The Gambia government failed to compensate victims whose properties were demolished during the ongoing Construction of the OIC 50km Urban Road Project- Lot 1 & 2 even though the OIC has allocated the compensation funds to the Gambia government as part of the financing of the road project well before the demolitions.

The areas covered under the road construction project are as follows:
1. Kanifing Hospital- Bertil Harding (Methodist) Kanifing Estate Road.
2. GPPC Road-Westfield (Jokor)- Abuko.
3. Sukuta- Latrikunda Sabiji.
4. Kololi Tavern-Bijilo-Brufut.
5. #8288;#8288;Touba Manchaca Road-Kerr Serign-Sukuta.
6. Bijilo- Sukuta Nemasu.
7. Bijilo Site Access.
8. Kololi/Senegambia Road intersection- Touba Sanchaba Road.
9. Sukuta Health Center- Kololi Senegambia Road Intersection.

The Gambia government hosts OIC from 4 to 5 May 2024 without compensating the propertyís owner. Many Property owners are complaining, confused and frustrated. They didnít know where to turn for help and frequently visited the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and the National Road Authorities (N.R.A) for compensation to no avail. The consultant whistleblower stated that many victims are contacting colleagues linked to the road project seeking help to know the payment status. As stakeholders in the OIC projects, we strongly advised them to escalate their demand by contacting the media for the government to pay because they had the money.

The Consultant Whistleblower also advises the complainers to put additional pressure on the government by organising a peaceful demonstration in front of the OIC summit venue on May 4-5 for the Saudi Fund for Development and other shareholders present at the summit to know what is happening. They warned if the affected property owners failed to apply pressure by peacefully demonstrating at the OIC summit venues, the Adama Barrow government would NEVER pay a single penny because they squandered all the money.

The consultant whistleblower emphasised that the OIC road project financing was scheduled and prepared based on agreed timelines with the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) for Development (SFD) during the technical meeting on the 15th of March, 2023. And the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) has not missed these timelines. The Gambia government under Adama Barrow has conducted the demolition of people's properties in both Lot 1 & 2, and still, many of the victims are not compensated.

Open Gambia contacted staff at the Ministry of Finance to verify some of the claims made by the OIC consultant. The response from a finance staff stated that the entire compensation process is handled incompetently and mired in corruption, lack of transparency, and no accountability measures. The government deliberately delayed payment to frustrate victims, making them desperate to settle their compensation cheaply. Some of the victims compensated are those connected to the Barrows administration, but even amongst those paid, most didnít get their fair share of compensation.

Open Gambia contacted a private contractor working on the OIC projects on his views on the failure of the government to pass on the compensation funds already secured from the Saudi Fund for Development. The contractor revealed that in his over twenty years of operating in Africa, he has never encountered such incompetent and corrupt officers in both those working for the Gambia Government and OIC Gambia Secretariat. He also claimed that it is due to the incompetency and corrupt nature of the Gambia Government and OIC Gambia Secretariat that led to the entire delay of the hosting, also due to their failure to deliver competent projects that led to a vast and substantial economic loss and many lives during the construction phase.

He said that heís not the least surprised that most affected compound owners arenít compensated after their properties are demolished because the Barrow administration and their surrogates at the OIC Gambia Secretariat had squandered the funds. The contractor added Gambia is the only country that did worse in benefiting from hosting the prestigious OIC summit. The contractor cited Senegal as an example of the amount of infrastructure transformation and development that the country realised. The contractor claimed that the only thing President Barrow and his corrupt cabal have to celebrate is how rich they have become from this massive project.

The contractor expressed sadness that most of these families are struggling for their daily living in Gambia and that if the government demolishes their properties, the government must compensate them. Still, Adama Barrow's government lacks sympathy for these Gambian families.
Open Gambia platform welcomes homeowners affected by the OIC road demolition exercise to share their experiences.

Your support means the world to us! Please follow our page to keep up with our latest posts, and don't forget to hit that like button and share our content with your friends. Thank you for being a part of the OPEN GAMBIA PLATFORM community! Article contributed by ANON 26/03/2024!

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Source: Open Gambia

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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