Interview with Omar Jammeh Feb 18
Updated: Aug 27, 2021
We leave the region of the Landscape of the Year and continue westwards. There are no special action points on the agenda, so we have time to think about the arguments of Omar Jammeh, director of “Just Act”, concerning problems and chances of tourism in the Janjanbureh region, which shall be improved through the Landscape of the Year activities.
Interview with Omar Jammeh, director of “Just Act” (Janjanbureh United for Sustainable Tourism and Community Training):
Omar, the organisation “Just Act” was founded in 2010 and is dedicated to sustainable tourism. What are your aims? The focus of our work is the support of sustainable tourism, especially by qualifications and trainings of young people for jobs in the tourism sector.
Yesterday, some very competent young women and men guided us through Janjanbureh. They knew a lot about the history of the town! Yes, it is very important for our organisation to raise the awareness of young people for the cultural heritage and the traditions. Tourism development should be based upon this.
Janjanbureh already faced better times as tourist destination. Why has there been a decrease in tourism? The decrease began in the beginning of the 1990s. It was a vicious circle: boat traffic declined due to lack of investments, road condition was bad – only a few tourists travelled through the region. Hotels and restaurants lost their income, could not invest anymore, quality of service declined – in consequence even less tourists came.
One aim of the Landscape of the Year is to develop respectively revitalize sustainable tourism in the cross-border region Koungheul/Janjanbureh. What do you think about the action of Naturefriends in this context? We know that Naturefriends are dedicated to similar aims in the field of tourism as we are. So, we hope, that the project will bring open-minded travellers to our region. In our opinion there is a growing demand for alternative forms of tourism, with cultural and community-based focus. Pure sightseeing falls behind real experiencing. We are glad, that the Kankurang festival came back to Janjanbureh thanks to the Landscape of the Year.
An here's the report of Liisi Juvonen, Ossi Jokinen & Jukka Pöllä (Finland):
Thursday 18 January 2018 was a day we travelled a long trip from Janjanbureh to Tanji near Banjul. Some remarks about the events during the day. Early in the morning we had the Breakfast at Janjanbureh in our Baobolong inn. At 8.30 am we started our journey along the South Bank Road towards Banjul. On the way we saw about a hundred monkeys on the both sides of the highway. We see also trees, shrubs, deserts. The Day was hot, fortunately we had an air conditioning in the bus.
At 11.50 am we arrived to Tendaba Camp in Tendaba. The camp was onshore of the 2 km wide Gambia River. Wi-Fi of 50 dalasi worked until it became blocked due to the large amount of usage. Next to the restaurant there was a school and we saw many happy children, some travellers walked on the beach and most depicted the environment. There were also many bird watchers with binoculars, telescopes and cameras with long lenses. In this beautiful shore scenery, we ate delicious and varied Lunch at Tendaba Camp’s restaurant.
The journey continued well even though we were often stopped. On the way Janjanbureh – Banjul had 31 police or army checkpoints. Finally, at 4.30 pm we arrived in the capital of Banjul. A long and varied journey required technical stops and good water and food. Once we arrive we ate Dinner in Bungalow Beach apartment hotel, where some of the guests stayed. The hotel had massively European tourists – some also from Finland. Others stayed at Mama Africa Art House a few Kilometres south of Bungalow Beach. The temperature was 22 degrees in the evening. We were satisfied on the trip to the landscape and we had left the villages in the countryside with their festivals and everyday life. We had arrived at the tourist area of the Atlantic coast. Thanks to the traveling companion!