Writers’ Association Gambia to Launch Campaign Against COVID-19
In a bid to prevent and fight against the pandemic Corona Virus, the Writers’ Association of The Gambia (WAG) which is under the National Centre for Arts and Culture held a press conference amid rapidly fast growing Corona Virus.
The aim of the press conference was to inform the public of its decision to launch a campaign against the pandemic COVID 19 and as well discuss the preventive methods of the virus through sketches, poetry, dialogue and speeches in order to create public awareness on the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We deemed it necessary to sensitize the public on the preventive methods and bring the true depiction of COVID-19 in the Gambian literature; to urge to know how it spreads”, said Momodou Lamin Sowe Secretary General of the Writers’ Association the Gambia (WAG). Sowe urge Gambians not to fear the virus instead follow the preventive methods recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). He commended the NCAC for the support given to their association.
Hassoum Ceesay, Director General of National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) said the idea is to encourage writers to write more sketches, short stories and poems to make useful and appropriate informationin sensitizing on precautions against the pandemic Corona Virus. He said the NCAC is set to support WAG in sensitizing the public on the prevention and the precautions to be taken so the virus won’t be able to have a way into the country.
“We are very happy to be associated with this and our aim is to mobilize all other artistic groups; from dancers to film makers, to musicians, to theatre, drama and all of them”. He stated.
As expected, Mr. Ceesay gave a brief history on how the governor of the then Bathurst was able to control the Cholera outbreak in 1869 which was an epidemic. He said the governor took strict measures by stopping the movement of people in and out of the Island to make sure that the epidemic stayed in the Island. He added that 5,000 people were living in the island andmore than 1,000 people died during the cause of the epidemic.
“The governor ordered the soldiers to stop people from living or entering the island; so you can see the disease was confined within the town”, he revealed.
Highlighting on the association’s plans to fight the pandemic COVID 19, Dr. Cherno Omar Barry president of the Writers’ Association in the Gambia said their association is very conscious of the COVID 19 given the fact that it is a global concern; He said it doesn’t matter how developed a country with all its resources it may get the Corona Virus and once it enters a country it can immensely damage its economy.
“Prevention is far better than cure; naturally we do not take things seriously until it gets to our house then we start taking measures that is why the WAG is we should stand up now and find a way to fight it”, Dr. Barry emphasized.
He continued that the WAG’s campaign against the COVID 19 will be done by sensitizing people, writing about it, talking and doing slam poems about it; drama using the local languages in the country so the message can reach the last compound in Fatoto. He added that people should follow the WHO’s preventive methods by washing our hands regularly and avoid too much body contact and also avoid handshaking.
“Let us take our measures now because a pandemic is a global thing and Gambia is no exception”. He advised.
By Adam Drammeh.