ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.

Upper Nuimi

 

Upper Nuimi is situated in the Western part of the North Bank Division approximately 30-40km from the biggest commercial town and ferry crossing terminal to Banjul the Capital city of the Gambia, in the southwest.

It is one of six districts in this administrative area very close to the river Gambia which makes it an important fishing and tourist attraction area.

The area has also historic significance as a slave trade route and post made famous by Kunte Kinteh the main character in Alex Hailey’s book “Roots”.

The area is very remote due to poor and inaccessible road networks especially during the rainy season. Alternatively access to the area can be through the river Gambia by boat but this means of transport is used mainly by tourists.

The climate is typical of the sub-Sahel region, with 3-5 months rains and 7-9 months of dry season. 

The dry season is characterised by hot dry winds with an average monthly temperatures that ranges between 18-33 degrees Celsius in January, and from 24-39 degree Celsius in May and throughout the year.

Rainfall occurs between June and October each year, with August generally recording the highest rainfall. Average annual rainfall currently ranges between 745mm -1000mm

Over 90 per cent of the people that live in the Upper Nuimi are subsistence farmers.  Major crops grown in the area are rice, maize, millet, cassava and groundnuts.

The area is inhabited by three major ethnic groups namely Mandinka, Wollof and Fula. Other smaller ethnic groups found in the area are Jola, Serer, Manjago and Bambara. Culturally the people of Upper Nuimi still practice polygamy that allows men to marry more than one wife. 

There exist very strong extended family system which acts as an important social network for support and solidarity among members of the same family and relatives.

The average family size is 15 people which include husband, wives, children, uncle, aunts, nephews, grandparents etc.

Extended families live in big compounds usually with each parent having his/her own house with the eldest male being the head of all households in the compound.

The people of Upper Nuimi have a very warm character and very welcoming to visitors which explains why tourists are always happy to come back for a second time. They have a rich culture of dance, festivities, customary practices and norms.

Literacy rate in the Upper Nuimi is very low especially among women. Over 60 per cent of them have not attained any form of education.

Poverty and parental fears about the negative religious and cultural impact of secular state education are largely to blame for the low literacy rate amongst women and girls.

Other reasons include financial costs and labor demand on women and girls at the domestic level.

There are only seven lower basic schools, two basic cycle schools and four pre-schools and only one upper basic school in the whole area.

There are four outreach clinics and only one minor health facility. Although a major health centre has been constructed in the area and similar to other health facilities  it does not have adequate drugs and trained personnel.

Malaria is the leading killer disease among children. Other major health problems include malnutrition, sexually transmitted diseases and high maternal rates.

Upper Nuimi (DA 9)