Hamat N.K. Bah, the Minister of Tourism and Culture of The Gambia has hinted that Barra, traditionally known as Niumi, is going to be the next beauty of the Smiling Coast.
Located 5km away from the capital city, Banjul; Barra Town is a small riverside settlement located on the north bank of the River Gambia estuary, in the Lower Niumi District of the North Bank Region.
It is connected via the Banjul–Barra Ferry Service.
Minister Bah thus used the opportunity to advise people of North Bank Region in general not to sell their lands instead, he said, “you can have lease agreement with whoever that is interested, as the next site of beauty of The Gambia is here, Barra.”
Addressing the residents of Barra including the chief, alkalo and governor of the Region shortly after his visit to the under construction D.K. Jawara Resort close to Fort Bullen, Minister Bah affirmed that Barra has everything it takes to attain the position of beauty of The Gambia.
He emphasised that they should go in to lease agreement which will spell out necessary terms including lease period and some other terms of modalities.
He said frantically that “once you sell it (your land) you cannot get it back and to avoid being a loser while buyer enjoys. Therefore, guard your lands, it is your asset, it is just an advice I have to give,” he said.
The minister went on that very soon lands will become more precious in NBR as the “government of Adama Barrow is bringing back what is missing in the region, infrastructural developments to North Bank with the Hakanlang Road as one of important projects of this government.”
With confidence, he expressed that it will make a great impact on the lives of the people who live in the area and generally the Gambian people.
“So we are committed to that cause and we will not leave any stone unturned in getting to achieve our objectives in promoting the rural and domestic tourism in this part of the country because the time has come to get development to the people particularly tourism which carries 20 percent of our GDP,” he assured.
Minister informed the community that it is presently winter tourism season in the country and despite the minimal cases of coronavirus pandemic recorded in the country the destination is still awaiting arrival of flights from various source markets.
However, as the tour proceeds, Bah visited other places in the North Bank Region including Fort Bullen – Barra, Berending Crocodile Pool – Berending village, Kunta Kinteh Roots Camp – Albreda, Jerreh Camp – Sitanuku village, Kerewan Badala Camp, Mary Busherter Guest House (ADWAC), Njau Hunting.
The Tourism and Culture minister was accompanied on the tour by some senior government officials from the Tourism Ministry, including Mrs. Cordu L. Jabang-Senghore, permanent secretary, Mr. Mamadi Dampha, deputy permanent secretary, regional governors, the board chairpersons of National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) and Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI). Others include officials of the Ministry, GTBoard, GTHI, NCAC and members of Travel and Tour Writers.