It is that time of the year when almost everyone is grabbing a slice of watermelon as the fruit season takes on a fresh bloom bringing record supplies of watermelon in markets across the country. Farmers are enjoying massive bumper yields with fruit harvests beating most crops as markets welcome fresh produce.
Watermelon is a highly cultivated fruit worldwide, the green fruit with a delightfully juicy taste, is from the Cucurbitaceae family, which produces nutrient loaded plants with many health benefits.
As in other west African countries, watermelon is a profitable agribusiness venture in the Gambia, with businessmen and women cultivating massive productions delivering bumper supplies across the metropolis where established selling points are churning significant profits everyday.
After a successful harvest season, the fruit is transported from farms to wholesale and retail dealers in all parts of the city. The fruit however comes with a rather short life span that makes it difficult to keep fresh produce for a long spell after harvesting. Without a ready made market, the fruit gets spoiled within a short duration but others have techniques to keep it fresh.
Also making ends meet from the watermelon business are wheelbarrow watermelon sellers, trading juicy slices for pedestrian passerby’s.
Watermelon Vendor Alfusainey Jallow has been in the watermelon business for years, he told us that the business has not been stable due to adverse variations of water prices.
But attractive slices are still pulling customers despite the high price.
After a grueling day at work, Omar Cham and his friends gather at Westfield to buy watermelon slices from Alfusainey to quench their craving and unwind.
For most consumers its crucial to eat the fruit regularly before the season ends, as the chance to witness a bumper watermelon sales that happen once a year. On a hot afternoon, eating fruit with high water content keeps the body hydrated, according to experts watermelon is one of the fruits lowest in calories.
The fruit is 92 percent water and rich in potassium and vitamins C, A, B and many other nutrients that blend to make the fruit a vital resource for beverages and smoothies.
The Gambia’s shores are endowed with immense natural resources and watermelon makes significant yields despite environmental challenges.
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President Adama Barrow Saturday laid the foundation for the construction of a 23 Mega Watts Solar Plant and an eight (8) Mega Watt-Battery Energy Storage System, with three (3) years of operations and maintenance.In his keynote address, the President said, “The proposed Jambur solar plant is a component of The Gambia Electricity Restoration and Modernisation Project, which is co-financed by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank at an estimated budget of US$27 million (twenty-seven million United States dollars).The ultimate goal of this project is to provide additional reliable, affordable, sustainable, and green energy generation capacity to meet the increasing energy needs of the Gambian people. This Solar project is an integral part of our national Strategic Roadmap, 2021-2024, aimed at attaining universal energy access by 2025 and transforming The Gambia Electricity Sub-sector, as approved by Cabinet in November 2021.The roadmap outlines my government’s aspiration to achieve universal access to electricity by 2025 and, at the same time, transform the electricity sector so that Gambians can benefit from reliable and affordable electricity, leading to NAWEC becoming an efficient, financially sustainable power utility.The strategic roadmap serves as the development blueprint for the electricity sub-sector in the short and medium term. Renewable energy is highly placed on its order of priority.In the roadmap, Solar PV is considered as the cheapest form of renewable energy in The Gambia.This project will inject clean energy into the electricity grid, thus contributing to the achievement of The Gambia’s Climate Change Targets of Nationally Determined Contributions. It will also help us to diversify our electricity generation sources, reducing the country’s over-dependence on imported petroleum products.”
In what many described as symbolic leadership, President Barrow earlier today led the re-introduction of the National Cleansing Exercise ‘Set Settal’, calling on the relevant authorities to implement the anti-littering law. President Barrow said that many people are in the habit of indiscriminate littering, which renders the environment dirty. ‘’We have the laws and should use them to stop littering. That is what democracy is about,’’ he stressed. The President, however, expressed delight at the turnout of the people to clean even though it was a voluntary exercise, saying, ‘’We cannot force people to come; we can only encourage them’’. He added that people must not wait for the exercise to clean their environment; they must do it daily to ensure clean and healthy surroundings. On him leading the exercise, President Barrow said leadership is a big responsibility and a position of trust, thus the participation to join the citizens. He thanked the lord Mayor of Kanifing Talib Ahmed Bensouda, the Cabinet members and all the people that came out to join him. President Barrow urged the journalists to lead the advocacy in the exercise.
President Adama Barrow, Sunday, 29th January, commended the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) for its support to his Government when he received the President of the Bank, Dr Muhammed Al Jasser, at the State House in Banjul. The President highlighted key projects supported by the Bank, including the Laminkoto-Passamas road, the agriculture sector and electricity, noting they significantly impact people's lives. He added that the country largely depends on agriculture and that it ensures food security, which is national security. Stressing the importance of roads, the President said it has made travelling easy and connecting businesses and services, positively impacting the economy. He assured the Bank of his Government's continuous partnership for the mutual benefit of the country and institution. Following his audience with the President, Dr Muhammad Al Jasser told the waiting press that the IsDB regarded The Gambia as a vital member and had financed up to a Billion Dollars in projects in the country over the years. He added they stand shoulder to shoulder with the Government and people of The Gambia in their journey to development. Dr Jasser further stated that he visited some of the projects like road and electricity they are financing, some of which have been completed and others steadily progressing, adding there are evident achievements. The IsDB head said they had signed a grant with the Government to enhance productivity in agriculture by providing suitable crop varieties. "Agriculture is a pivotal sector in every and any economy, especially in developing countries, and to have such a mapping of the land of any country will be very important to choose the right crop for the right place to have the quantities," he noted. The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Hon. Seedy Keita, who accompanied the delegation to the State House, thanked the IsDB for the trusted partnership over the years, saying the Bank is financing many projects that positively impact the lives and livelihoods of Gambians.
President Adama Barrow received a delegation from the International Civil Defence Organisation – ICDO to discuss the country’s recruitment as a member of the Organisation on Wednesday, 25th January 2023.During discussions, President Barrow underscored the importance of membership to organisations that support their members with capacity and logistics. He added that capacity building in disaster management is crucial, recalling the challenges the country had to deal with during the unfortunate disasters due to windstorms and floods. He noted that in light of climate change, it is difficult to predict a disaster; thus, the necessity to develop capacity. “When a disaster occurs, people look to the government for food, shelter, and protection. the importance of having the capacity and logistics to do so.” As he looks forward to The Gambia becoming the 61st member of the International Civil Defence Organisation established after World War 1- (WWI), the President advised the relevant stakeholders to pursue legal advice and the possibility for The Gambia to become a member.Director Mariatou Yap, briefing the President, gave a history of the organisation and its focus to provide technical and humanitarian support to members, mainly in Africa, through training and capacity building. She stressed the importance of data collection and sharing at the regional level, hence working to increase its membership. Madam Yap used the occasion to extend her sincere condolences on the demise of the Late Vice President. Permanent Secretary Office of The Vice President, Dawda Ceesay, said the visit was timely as his office completed a National Strategy on Disaster Management and Resilience in June 2022 and would require support in its implementation through capacity building and provision of logistics.Executive Director of the National Disaster Management Agency – NDMA, Mr Sanna Dahaba, led the delegation to the State House.
President Barrow posthumously conferred the insignia of G.C.R.G of the Republic of The Gambia to the Late Vice President, H.E Alieu Badara Joof, at a State Funeral at the National Assembly in honour and appreciation for his patriotic service to the nation. It was a sombre moment as the late VP lay in State surrounded by a nation in mourning. Eulogising the former VP, President Barrow described him as a friend and brother who touched uncountable lives and influenced various institutions he served through his multifaceted character and talent. ‘’As the whole nation mourns, it is with a great sense of loss and a very heavy heart that I deliver this tribute in remembrance and praise of a close colleague, friend, and brother, who sadly worked as my Vice President for less than a full year when he succumbed to a brief illness.’’ President Barrow saidSeveral people, including family, friends and colleagues, poured tributes on the late VP. For them, he would be remembered for his honesty, commitment, generosity and love for family. Following the ceremony, he was laid to rest at the Banjulnding cemetery next to his mother’s grave.
King of Kora Jaliba Kuyateh received an honorary fellowship from Goldsmiths, University of London at a graduation ceremony today. Jaliba Kuyateh’s award was in recognition of his work using music to improve perinatal mental health. He is the only Gambian appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for his charitable work with children in the Gambia. Jaliba Kuyateh dedicated the honors to the people of the Gambia; especially the women whom he said ‘have supported his career from the very beginning’. He further thanked the Goldsmith University governing council and the entire faculties for the milestone gesture. Jaliba detailed his career in peacebuilding, climate change campaign, health and social welfare issues, child rights, and education among others. He thanked the Gambia High Commission for the support, through its representative to the event, Mr. Suntou Touray, Deputy Head of Mission and staff for gracing the occasion, and to Yaram Arts for the collaboration and support.Jaliba Kuyateh felt honored and appreciated by the recognition and wishes to continue his collaborative work with Professor Lauren Stewarts of Goldsmith University in the area of participatory music research.Gambia High Commission in UK
President Adama Barrow has declared a 7-day National Mourning effective from the 18th January, 2023 in memory of the late Vice President Alieu Badara Joof. All flags will fly at half Mast. The body of the late VP will be laid in State at the National Assembly for a State Funeral. Arrangements related to the funeral will be announced later. Meanwhile, book of condolences will be opened at the Presidency on Thursday 19th January, 2023.
The death has been announced of the Vice President of the Gambia Alieu Badara Joof. Mr Joof died in in India where he was being treated. President Adama Barrow expressed profound shock and sadness, the death of his deputy. The late Vice President Until his appointment as VP on 4th May 2022, VP Joof had served in various capacities including Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MOHERST), Permanent Secretary in various ministries across the Government. He had also served as World Bank Director for West and Central Africa for over a decade, a position he would relinquish to take up cabinet appointment in the new political dispensation.Earlier in his career, Mr. Joof, 66, had trained as a qualified teacher and taught for years at Nusrat High School in Bundung, The Gambia College in Brikama and The Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI).A scholar of profound intellect, late VP Joof took a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Bristol, Master’s Degree in English from University of London and Master’s Degree in Developmental Economics from the University of Bath. He had earlier received a Diploma in Human Rights Studies from the University of Saint Edwards Island, Canada.He was married to Mrs. Fatou Sonko Joof and the family is blessed with several children. May Allah grant him Jannah.
Hundreds of mourners have gathered at the Memorial Arch to pay their last respects to the late Solo Sandeng. The former UDP youth leader is being laid to rest following his brutal killing in 2016 in the hands of security agents. At an official funeral ceremony the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Dawda Jallow spoke on behalf of the President HE Adama Barrow. In his speech Mr Jallow paid tribute to Solo Sandeng and said he died fighting for freedom and justice. The Attorney General drew the attention of the gathering to fact that justice have been served as the perpetrators of the crime have been convicted and sentenced. Muhammed Sandeng, one of the sons of Solo, paid tribute to his late father. He said his death created a void in the family. He questioned if the cause that his father died fighting for is achieved. Muhammed said his father's absence left the family destitute and struggled to come to terms with it. The leader of the opposition UDP, ANM Ousainou Darboe spoke highly of the late Solo Sandeng in eulogy of the former political activist. Representatives of the Sandeng and the Sonko families also paid tribute to Solo Sandeng and prayed for him. The casket of the late Solo Sandeng was draped in the national flag and given a befitting funeral and burial, a stark contrast to how he was callously buried in a shallow grave. He was finally laid to rest at the Dippa kunda cometary
President Adama Barrow renewed his commitment to strengthening the bilateral ties between The Gambia and Senegal when he received a Ministerial delegation headed by the Minister for Culture and Historical Heritage, Professor Alioun Sow, at the State House on Friday morning. President Barrow embraced the friendly and brotherly relations with his colleague President Macky Sall, the government and the people of Senegal, reiterating the socio-cultural bond he described as 'natural'. "We should be proud of who we are and believe in ourselves," he added The Gambian Leader urged the two authorities to work closely to unite the people through the policies they developed to strengthen the excellent neighbourliness between the two countries. He stressed the importance of the relations, saying, "Your immediate neighbour is your strongest partner, and we will succeed together," while praying for peace to continue to prevail in the region.Expressing his delight and reception in The Gambia, Professor Sow extended sincere felicitation from the Senegalese Leader to President Barrow, describing him as a 'Man of action without making noise."The Senegalese culture Minister emphasised the importance of having loyal officials to influence government policies and cited the partnership they enjoy with The Gambia Navy and the National Council for Arts and Culture in The Gambia. He revealed the plans to host joint annual Cultural festivals in border communities between the two countries and celebrate the Senegambia heritage. The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Honourable. Hamat Bah said the visit was historic and demonstrated President Barrow's desire to preserve, promote, and advance the Senegambia culture. He added culture could be a source of inspiration to promote national development.Honourable Sow is in The Gambia on the invitation of the Gambian Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Hamat Bah and the Senegalese Ambassador to The Gambia, H.E Bachirou Sene, accompanied him to the State House by