Maiden GALGA Town Hall Meetings Enlighten over 550 People on Sustainable Local Governance, Others

Maiden GALGA Town Hall Meetings Enlighten over 550 People on Sustainable Local Governance, Others
Maiden GALGA Town Hall Meetings Enlighten over 550 People on Sustainable Local Governance, Others

Africa-Press – Gambia. More than 550 people with five rural local councils have been sensitized on sustainable local governance, peace and security and social justice within five rural local councils during a maiden town hall meetings between local authorities and opinion leaders organized by The Gambia Association of Local Government Authorities (GALGA).

With support from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Senegal/The Gambia, the activity falls under outcome 2.3 of the 2024 GALGA work plan that intends to increase taxpayers’ and other citizens’ understanding of the operations of Councils and the importance of peace, security and social justice to establish trust between Local Councils and the people for sustainable growth.

Implemented in Basse, Janjanbureh, Kuntaur, Kerewan and Mansakonko Area Councils, the town hall meetings sensitized the participants on the understanding of the operations of local council including their decentralized structure- Village and ward development committees. It also sensitized them on the importance of peace and security and on social justice in the context of sustainable local governance.

Participants in the meetings include chiefs and alkalolus, village and ward development committee members, youth, and persons with disability, security personnel, council staff and students which were held in Kulkulleh and Fatoto within the Basse Area Council, Janjanbureh and Bansang within the Janjanbureh Area Council, Sami Pachonki and Dingeraiwithin the Kuntaur Area Council, Njawara and Kuntayawithin the Kerewan Area Council and in Nema and Massembeh within the Mansakonko Area Council.

“We are satisfied with the participation and contribution of the participants in these meetings and we are happy that we have enhanced their understanding on the roles of local councils and those of people,” program manager of GALGA, AmadouJallow said.

He said the town hall meetings aim to encourage and create platforms of discussion between local council authorities and the tax payer community for improved understanding of their individual and collective roles and responsibility as enshrined in the Local Government Act 2002 and other laws. “It also aims to encourage just distribution of opportunities and services to taxpayers by Local Councils and the importance of peace and security for sustainable local governance.”

Addressing participants at Sami Pachonki and Dingeraimeetings, chairman of Kuntaur Area Council, Saihou Jawaraemphasized the need for people to seek for clearer understanding on the functions of local councils and their decentralized structure for improved community development.

He said his council will continue to provide services its tax payer community but encourage them to be tax complaint by regularly and voluntarily paying their tax which will enable the councils to implement more programmes for them.

“Area Councils are tax collection and service delivery institutions and this cannot be done without the cooperation of the people,” Kerewan Area Council chairman, Papa Tunkarasaid at the Njawara and Kuntaya meetings.

Mr Tunkara said it is the intention of Kerewan Area Council to be organizing such platforms of discussion with tax payers every year but they are usually constrained by funding and other overwhelming engagements and activities.

At Nema and Massembeh meetings, the vice chairman of Mansakonko Area Council, Almamo AK Ceesay said they are impressed with them participation of tax payers in the meetings and the level of their constributions which will help the council to improve on some of the recommended areas.

According to him, there is need for increase training and sensitization of communities, particularly the village and ward development committee decentralized structures other roles as dictated in the Local Government Act and other laws governing local governance in The Gambia.

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