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Inventorying Of Banjul Historic Built Heritages, Sites Underway

By Yunus S Saliu

Phase one of the inventories of Banjul’s historic buildings and site values for informed policy drive towards urban heritage conservation on Tuesday, 16th May 2023 commenced in Banjul city by the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) in conjunction with UNESCO-NATCOM The Gambia and key stakeholders.

The Inventory of Historic Banjul Built Heritage Project is funded by UNESCO in Paris through the Participation Program and is meant for informed policy towards urban heritage conservation and valorization into UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.

After the inauguration of the project on 27th of April 2023, two weeks on, phase one of the inventory kicked start last Tuesday, among places inventoried on the first day by the inventory team during the fieldwork exercise were the National Museum Building, Quadrangle Building, Cholera Obelisk; McCarthy Square, World War Memorial, King George V Memorial Fountain all in Banjul.

Hassoum Ceesay, the Director General of the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) expressed gratitude to UNESCO in Paris and their partner in the Gambia UNESCO NATCOM for funding the project which he described as “very significant to not only the BCC but the country in general.

This project, he emphasized, will help to conserve and protect the history of Banjul and it is worth knowing that Bathurst called Banjul was established over 200 years ago hence the British occupied it in 1816.

Before the commencement of the inventory, the NCAC and inventory team made up of Banjul ward councilors, community and religious leaders, historians, officials of NCAC, and media, were given an orientation and review of all necessary information concerning the inventory of historic built heritage and sites of Banjul.

However, places like parks, squares, worship houses, shrines and so on that are believed of historic interest will be visited as the inventory team continues the inventory exercise of Banjul’s historic buildings, and sites.

Banjul, the capital city of The Gambia, is known for its rich history and cultural heritage. To ensure the preservation of this heritage, a project to inventory the city’s historic built heritage and sites is currently underway.

The project, which is being conducted by the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC), aims to identify and document all the historic buildings, monuments, and sites in Banjul. The inventory will provide a comprehensive list of the city’s cultural heritage, which will be used as a reference for future preservation efforts.

The inventory will cover all areas of Banjul, including the old town, colonial buildings, religious structures, and other significant sites. It will also include a detailed description of each site, along with historical and cultural information.

The project is being carried out in collaboration with the Banjul City Council ward councilors, the Ministry of Tourism, and other stakeholders. NCAC partnered with international organizations such as UNESCO NATCOM to ensure that the inventory meets international standards.

Again, the inventory will serve as a crucial tool for the preservation of Banjul’s cultural heritage. It will help to identify the sites that are most at risk of deterioration or destruction and prioritize them for restoration or conservation efforts.

The project is part of a larger effort by NCAC to promote cultural tourism and preserve its cultural heritage. The country has a rich history and diverse cultural heritage, and the preservation of its historic built heritage and sites is critical to its tourism industry.

In summary, the inventorying of Banjul’s historic built heritage and sites is an important project that will help to ensure the preservation of the city’s cultural heritage. It is a collaborative effort that involves multiple stakeholders and international organizations, and it is a crucial step toward promoting cultural tourism and preserving The Gambia’s cultural heritage for future generations.

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Yunus S Saliu

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