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Your Excellency, the Vice President
Honourable Speaker
Your Lordship, the Chief Justice
Honourable Ministers
Secretary General and Head of Civil Service
Lord Mayoress of Banjul
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Contractor, Financiers and Partners
Governor WCR and Mayor of KMC
Traditional and Religious Leaders
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

It is indeed a pleasure and an honour to gather here today to launch the groundbreaking Banjul Sewage, Drainage and Roads Rehabilitation Project.

The event marks another milestone towards the realization of my Government’s development agenda, as stated clearly in the National Development Plan, 2018-2021. We have prioritized the development of road infrastructure to accelerate the social and economic development of The Gambia.

This occasion demonstrates vividly my Government’s commitment to providing the City of Banjul with the best possible infrastructure to make the settlement more habitable.

In part, it is a commitment in fulfilment of Goals 9 and 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals. While Goal 9 specifies the need to “build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation,”
Goal 11 seeks to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is well known that Banjul has been facing challenges related to flooding and leakage of sanitary waste, coupled with the loss of the structural integrity of its roads due to the high underground water table.

The implementation of this rehabilitation project, therefore, cannot come at a better time than now to address all the roads and drainage challenges confronting the residents of Banjul.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are aware of the importance of durable infrastructure for the socio-economic development of the country. Thus, given the urgency of the project, Government has committed US$35.6 million for its implementation. The project components comprise roads, sewage and drainage systems, and implementation will commence this year, 2019.

Whilst my Government spearheads the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the drainage, sewage and roads infrastructure, other public and private institutions and businesses operating in the city will contribute their quota by working with the Banjul City Council to fulfil their social cooperate responsibilities. This is the opportune moment to work with the municipality.

To strengthen all Municipalities and Councils around the country, there is need to work on managerial capacity building and resource mobilization by improving their collection and accounting systems. For now, I urge all citizens to give their full cooperation for the proper implementation of this project, noting that when completed, it will improve the welfare of residents in Banjul and beyond.

Economically, the project will encourage more investments in infrastructure development, thereby creating more employment for Gambians and improving their incomes. Without doubt, the implementation phase will create employment opportunities for many Gambians, thus improving their livelihoods. All these will eventually contribute to poverty reduction.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
At this juncture, let me wish the Contractor, GAI Construction Enterprise and the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure a successful project implementation. I am certain that both parties will ensure that the project is implemented on time and in accordance with the specified standards. It is pleasing to note that the contractor, GAI Enterprise has, over the past years, proven to be a trustworthy, devoted and professional Gambian. I am convinced that he will live up to expectations.

Finally, I thank all stakeholders who have, in one way or another, contributed to the planning of this project.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is now my pleasure to formally launch the Banjul Sewage, Drainage and Roads Rehabilitation Project for implementation.

Thank you for your kind attention.