QUESTION OF THE DAY May 24, 2019
Readers would recall that Foroyaa received a tip that expired rice is being distributed in CRR. In order to get clear information without jumping to conclusion, Foroyaa contacted the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food Safety and Quality Agency. NDMA denied that, that was not the reality while WFP expressed innocence. We also contacted FSQA and they declined to comment expressing that the director general was out of the jurisdiction. The investigation continued.
As we conducted more investigation it was reported that villagers in URR were being asked to contribute through their Alkalos for the Governor to facilitate the distribution of the rice. This is also raising eyebrows.
In the meantime, the Chinese Embassy, whose government donated the rice have issued the following statement to clarify matters:
“In accordance with the exchange of letters signed in September 2018 between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of The Gambia, the Chinese Government shipped 2,734 metric tons of rice as emergency humanitarian aid to the Republic of The Gambia. The two batches of rice( all produced between October and December 2018) arrived at the port of Banjul on 7 January 2019 and 18 February 2019 respectively, The Chinese side submitted the bills of lading to the Gambian side in a timely manner, thus has fulfilled its obligations stated in the exchange of letters. All the dispatched rice was parboiled, characterized by high nutrition and long shelf life. Under proper conditions, the safe consumption period is at least 9 months from the date of production.
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Banjul
May 23, 2019.”
The government should now consider all the facts provided and issue a statement on the matter.
Non communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes are marauding the population. Many suspected that they are food related. Hence particular attention must be paid to the quality of food that we give to our population.