By Biran Gai and edited by Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
It took only three weeks to implement the “Lighten Freetown Street” project which installed 33 solar streets lights along a street in Bundung, all in one day. The project was conceived, planned and executed by residents and supporters of a community in Bundung. It all began when community leaders Musa Jammeh and Alhagie Sowe proposed the idea which was supported by Sulayman Jammeh, the Councillor for Bundung Ward. Three weeks later street lights had been procured, youths have been mobilised for installation all to the tune of D25,000 to complete the project. It took only a day for 33 solar street lights to be installed. By the evening of Sunday 27th December 2020, residents of Freetown Street were beaming with pride at the sight of a brighter and safer street.
One of the project objectives is to promote social cohesion among community members and promote uniform development. It is also viewed that the street lights will help in the areas of security by helping to expose thieves during the night who often carry out petty theft and burglary at night time.
When asked about the project Alhagie Babou Sowe, Member of the organising committee said “we owe it to our communities because they opened up their arms to welcome us to stay, unite and live together as humans and with such gesture we need to give back. This is what brought the idea of our community electrification project. The electrification project is not for one individual’s benefit but for the entire community. Two major benefits gain from this is Security – To deter criminal activity in our community streetlights will help ward off thieves, burglary and also rape cases. Peace – This can exist without security and it’s the fundamental right for every human being acquire this”.
In implementing this project, the youth of Bundung have decided not to wait for the authorities to electrify their community and launch similar community development projects in the vicinity. The next phase of the project is to partner with health authorities in providing medical assistance for elderly persons with Diabetes and other related health complications affecting the elderly members of community and people in need of such medical attention within the community. This will increase the community’s access to professional medical advice which will improve the health of the community and better protect the environment.
Football is another area which the group is interested in because it attracts lots of youth, The association will support young people who have dreams in football and ensure that they have a competitive football team within the community of Freetown. However, it is worth stressing that the electrification of the Freetown neighbourhood in Bundung is not the first of its kind. Similar undertakings were seen in communities like Jeshwang, New Yundum amongst others which without doubt, symbolizes the growing sentiment of nationalism and volunteerism. The youth of Freetown Street hopes that their efforts will inspire other young Africans, especially Gambians to promote community development in their own ways.