Fact Sheet: Did President Barrow Construct Over 600km of Paved Roads in 5 Years? No.

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President Barrow inaugurates 13.1km Sukuta-Jambanjelly Road in the West Coast Region on 7th March 2020 (Photo Credit: MOTWI).

The Gambian leader Adama Barrow recently won a second term with a 53% margin in what observers called the country’s most significant presidential elections since independence.

Barrow ran against the leader of his former United Democratic Party, Ousainou Darboe, and 4 other candidates.

The Gambian leader attributes his election success to his infrastructure projects implemented across the country in his first 5-year term.

The claim

At his first press conference with journalists after the election, Barrow reiterated his claim throughout the campaign that he is on course to do a massive infrastructural project in Gambia that will surpass the combined works of former presidents Dawda Kairaba Jawara and Yahya Jammeh.

He claimed he has done over 600 kilometers of paved tar roads in his first term.

“For example, after 52 years of independence, when we assessed our roads countrywide, the tar roads we have in this country, paved roads [was] 800 kilometers, and we were able to do about 600-plus kilometers within five years,” he said.

“If you take the ratio between these periods for 50 years, the previous governments were doing 15 kilometers a year. In our assessment, we did 150 kilometers every year.”

Brief correction

The ratio for a number of kilometers a year for 600 km roads in 5 years is 120. Not 150 km. The ratio for the number of km a year for 800 km of roads in 56 years is 14.2 km a year.

Analysis

We have taken records of all the lists of roads that are inaugurated under Barrow, those that are being built and those for whom funding has been secured (approved) but have not started yet.

We provide a list of these roads and their kilometers below.

Roads that are completed

A 4.60 km Latrikunda Sabiji—Sukuta road (OIC urban roads)

A 120 km Lamin Koto -Passamas road

A 13 km Yorobalwol to Basse road

An 18 km Bush Town Kaleng road

A 56 km Basse-Fatoto-Koina road

A 20 km Sukuta— Jambanjelly road

A 5.2 km Farato – Jambur road (done by NRA) 

Total: 236.8 kilometers of roads 

 

Roads that have started

An 84km Nuimi Hakalang road

A 38 km Ngain Sanjal to Bambally and Saba Sukuta

An 87km Kiang Roads (phase 1 and 2)

A 5.2 km Farato – Jambur (By NRA using fuel levy)

A 21 km Banjul Rehabilitation Project  (90℅ completed)

A 48 km Kaur Jimbala and phase 2 Kaur to Serre Oldy

Total:  283.2 kilometers of roads

Roads approved but not started 

A 4km Tujereng to Kunkujang Mariama (to be done by NRA from fuel levy)

20 roads of 50 km OIC-sponsored urban roads (Most roads at preparatory stage)

A 24 km road—improving Bertil Harding Highways to a triple carriage-ways

A 16km Banni to Njaba Kunda road (to be done by NRA from fuel levy)

A 12km Brufut-Madiana- Ba-nyakang road (to be done by NRA from fuel levy)

Total: 120 kilometers of roads

If all these roads are completed, Barrow would have completed 640 kilometers of roads across the country. As of now, it appears the President is counting kilometers of roads done and due to be done to make up for over 600 kilometers he claimed to have built.

Road renovations/ improvement works

The National Road Authority (NRA) collects a fuel levy, D3 on liters of fuel bought at fuel stations, to do new roads and renovation works. As part of this process, the following roads were renovated from 2017 to now.

A 2.6km Churchill’s Town Abuko diversion

A 3km Brusubi Phase 2 Access Road

A 2.4km Bansang Town Access Road….

A 3.6km Janjanbureh Town Access Road

A 1.1 km Kanifing Estate Access Road…

A 1km Iceman/Julbrew Road

A 2km Bakau Sanchaba Road

Totals: 15.7 kilometers of roads renovated

Meanwhile, the Gambia has been scheduled to host the summit of the heads of states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in 2022. As part of preparations for that conference, 50 kilometers of urban roads are expected to be constructed.

The construction of some of these roads are just beginning while the 4.60 km Latrikunda Sabiji— Sukuta road has finished.

As part of the OIC roads, a 24-kilometer Bertil Harding Highway will also be constructed to triple carriage-ways.

  • Researched by Mustapha K Darboe.

The information gathered is verified by the National Assembly Government Project Monitoring Committee, staff of National Road Authority and a spokesperson of the Ministry of Works. 

 

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