By Amadou Jallow
At a press conference marking his first 100 days in office, the mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council, Ahmed Talib Bensouda, has revealed his council is joining partnership with Brikama Area Council and the Banjul Municipal Council to work on the eventual closure of Bakoteh dumpsite and put in place a joint strategy for west management.
Mayor Bensouda said in service delivery, there are numerous illegal dumps-sites in the municipality as a result of illegal dumping, mostly by donkey carts.
“I have instructed the administration to continuously clear all illegal dumpsites. The Bakoteh dumpsite is causing serious environmental pollution and public health hazard to the residents of the communities surrounding the dumpsite,” he said.
He added: “Since I had the privilege to assume the office of the lord mayor of the Kanifing Municipality, it is in this spirit and as promised during the campaign, that I report to you our activities, challenges and achievements over the last 100 days in office.”
Mr. Bensouda became mayor of Gambia’s most populated municipality in the May’s mayoral election under the United Democratic Party (UDP) ticket scoring 29, 325 of the total votes in the municipality while his closest contestant Rambo Jatta of the APRC party candidate had 17,392 votes.
“I was sworn in on 21st May 2018 with a clear mandate to lead the Kanifing Municipality from the dark past of financial mismanagement, blatant corruption and abuse of office to a new era of transparency and accountability to the tax payers and the delivery of basic services to the residents of the municipality,” Mayor Bensouda said.
“The and his team inherited suffers from lack of human, technical and financial capital and capacity, saying these are challenges that they must overcome as administration of the community resources. To do so, we need the support and participation of the community development fora joint effort that we all share.”
He said the Council’s financial committee is comprised of accountants, auditors and experts in public financial, management, saying the former administration was operating a multitude of bank accounts, which was contrary to the local government finances and audit.
Mayor Bensouda added: “The new administration promptly commenced the process of closing down the accounts to maintain one council development fund account. We are going to operate only three accounts which has vastly reduced the risk of maladministration.”