Banjulinding women gardeners lament lack of water supply, storage facility

By Binta Barry-Jaye

The Banjulinding women’s gardeners in the West Coast Region (WCR), who depend on gardening to make ends meet for their families recently lamented the inadequate water supply, lack of storage facility and market to sell their produce.

Gardening is one the main source of income for most Gambian women who are engaged in the activity more than men.

Most of these women use their income to pay school fees and buy clothes for their children, which makes it a very important sector.

Ya Filly Sanneh, a gardener at the Banjulinding women’s garden, said the garden helps them to sustain their families and reduce expenses on their spouses.

She said she works hard to clear the land by herself, water it and pay a power tiller to plough.

“We pay a power tiller D350, each round which is costly,” said Ya Filly Sanneh, adding “We use our hands to do weeding.”

The local garden on the Brikama Highway is producing different type of vegetables such as tomatoes, beans, cucumber and many other things.

“The biggest challenge that we are facing is inadequate water supply,” Mama Kuyateh lamented.

Madam Kuyateh said they use to pay water bills directly to the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), which was reasonable at the time until the introduction of a cash power that was when they started having problems with high bills and inadequate water supply.

“We have two other boreholes but it is not enough because the garden is very big,” she added.

Amie Bojang, also a gardener at Banjulinding lamented the challenges of water shortage, leakage of a tank and the skyrocketing price of fertiliser.

“The other challenge we are facing with is the skyrocketing price of fertiliser which is not even available right now,” she said.

Madam Bojang also lamented that marketing is another problem that forces them to sell their produces at low prices due to lack of storage facility to prevent them from spoiling, especially the tomatoes.

She appealed to the authorities to repair their main tank, which is very old and also assist with power tillers to make their work easier.

Yama Jarju said the Senegalese vegetables have dominated the local market because it looks fresh and cheap due to fertiliser and adequate water supply.

She called on the government to subsidise fertiliser to them in order to boost their production.

“There should be a means of preservation to avoid too much of waste. This year alone, we have lost a huge amount of tomatoes which could be processed into tomato paste,” she lamented.

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