In some of The Gambia’s villages, no able-bodied young men are seen. On the farms are old fragile men and women, tilling the ground just to pass by.
Poverty is rife and many have left not just to the city but across borders on a perilous journey to reach the Europe.
The drift has also been blamed on bad governance and human rights abuses, which has made Gambia’s development partners to civilizely sanction the already politically isolated country.
The Gambia has one of the highest proportions per capita of migrants arriving in Europe by sea. They leave the West African country and trek through the Sahara to Libya, where they cross the Mediterranean to Italy.
In December last year, the man who has been blamed for the acute poverty and economic recession, President Yahya Jammeh, suffered a shocking defeat in the polls.
Since his defeat, at least 340 Gambians have returned from Libya and Niger, where most of them were holed up in deplorable conditions by militiamen.
According to a new report by the International Organization for Migration, the number of Gambians embarking on the journey to Europe has declined.
Migrant arrivals from Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Morocco, Mali and Guinea are now up compared to previous years.
Gambia’s new found democracy brought hope to its youthful population. They are expecting that jobs will be created and believes the new president, Adama Barrow will hold true to his campaign promises.
This year alone, at least 77,004 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 with more than a three-quarter of them arriving in Italy.
Many Gambians have died in their attempt to reach Europe. The government does not know the exact number of its citizens that have perished in the back way.
At least 1,828 people have died this year alone, most of them refugees and some 9,111 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.
The European Union has pumped in $28 million dollars to help jumpstart the Gambia’s new government’s efforts to create jobs and keep their youths at home “to contribute to nation building.”