Mrs Nancy Njie, Secretary of State for Culture and Tourism, has officially inaugurated the opening and handing over of Sandele Eco-Retreat, an ethical development in support of the people of Kartong, at Kartong village in Western Region on Tuesday, 21 October 2008.
Sandele Eco-Retreat is an innovative tourism enterprise, using highly eco-friendly building techniques to create market and low cost space for relaxation.
In her opening remarks, SoS Nancy Njie said “already, areas for future development have been mapped out. Nine tourist development areas, including the present Sandele, have been identified.” She added that by spreading tourist infrastructures in other parts of the country, the department of state for culture and tourism is also helping to spread its benefits to people in these communities, which would also help to curb the rural urban drift, as well as provide jobs, and enhance more opportunities for the people in these areas.
The tourism and culture Minister noted that “community based tourism is becoming increasingly popular and that is why department of tourism and culture has taken it upon itself to ensure that adequate quality tourism facilities are available all over the country.”
Madam Nancy Njie therefore used the ceremony to encouraged investors particularly Gambian business entrepreneurs to invest in 4 and 5 star quality tourism facilities.
Mr Alieu Mboge, the Director General of Gambia Tourism Authority, applauded and congratulate the investors, Geri Mitchele and Maurice Phillips together with the people of Kartong on the successful completion of the beautiful facility for operation. The GTA boss therefore assured the proprietors of Sandele Eco-retreat and people of Kartong of GTA’s commitment and support to the community.
Shortly after the official opening of this new resort, Sandele Eco-Retreat was handed over to the proprietors.
Maurice Phillips, one of the proprietors, he appreciate the hospitality accords them by the people of Kartong village; he said with the help of Kartong they have become passionate about ‘responsible construction.’ He said they also believe that it is essential for Katonkas to hang on to their land, lease it, lend it, share it but never sell it. Maurice added that earth is not for our sole benefit, we have to act stewards to respects the land.
As part of activities to mark the opening of the resort, SoS Nancy Njie, Messrs Kaliba Senghore, Alieu Mboge and some others received certificate of appreciation.
Honourable Haddy Nyang Jagne represented the Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly, Madam Fatoumata Jahumpa Ceesay. Also present are SoS for Land and local government, Ismaila Sambo, Alkalo of Kartong, Chairman of Kartong village development committee delegates to Mbokåa 2008 among others.