Mansakonko Area Council is one of the eight Local Administrative areas of The Gambia, located and serves the Lower River Region (LRR). Lower River Division is one of the five administrative divisions of the Gambia. Its capital is Mansa Konko.
The Local Government Area is situated along the Southern lower part of the River Gambia from the Atlantic Coast.
It is surrounded on the south by Senegal and the east by Central River Region (CRR) and West Coast Region. It is approximately 120km long and 7 km to 20km wide.
Per 2013 census, the region had a population of 82,361 with a population density of 051. The total number of households was 8,474 as of 2013. The total area of the region is 1618 km2. The infant mortality rate was 96 for every thousand births and the under-five mortality was 137 per every thousand births. The poverty gap ratio was 19.8 per cent. The literacy rate of the province was 69.3 compared to a national average of 62.9 per cent. The net enrolment ratio in primary education was 65 per cent, children entering first grade of primary school reaching last grade of primary education was 96 per cent and the ratios of boys against girls in primary, secondary and tertiary education was 1.13 as of 2007.
The Council, as established is a decentralized public authority, with deliberative bodies made up of Councilors elected on the basis of universal suffrage and headed by a Chairman (Mayor). The elected Councilors serve four – year term in office, and could be eligible for re-election to office for more than one term. The Chairperson is assisted by a chief executive officer who is also assisted by line Directors in the day to day management of the council.
Councils comprises of three-tiers as decentralized structures namely, Village Development Committees (VDCs), Ward Development Committees (WDCs) and Local Government Authority (LGA). The lowest of these structures being the VDC, followed by WDC and LGA and within decentralized systems each of the three structures exercise certain degree of autonomy and functions in a coordinated manner and styles as contained in the Local Government Act, 2002.
The composition of the VDCs is representatives of each of the “Kabilos” in the village (male and female) and other interest groups in the village and it headed by a chairperson who is chosen from and within the members.
At Ward Development Committee (WDC) level the composition comprises of representatives of various villages within the ward (a male and a female) and the chairperson is automatically the elected Ward Councilor of the ward.
At Local Government Area (LGA) level the composition of the Council comprises of elected and nominated councilors who are voted for a four-year term in office. Council is the highest decision making body and hence exerts some degree of control over lower structures in a coordinated manner.
Within the context of decentralized development services Council supervises, as well as provide concomitant resource allocations to lower structures through tax and rates collected as contained in the Local Government Act 2002 that 60% 0f council revenues shall be provided to people in the form of services.
Furthermore, the Council serves as the planning authority of the LGA and need to ensure fair, even and just service provisions that is required for the Mansakonko LGA. These responsibilities require high resource demand which the Council singularly cannot handle hence the need for strategic collaboration and partnership with relevant organizations and agencies.
The advent of the new democratic Gambia has ushered in some significant changes which affected the general outlook of the Local Government Authorities, including Mansakonko Area Council. The elections of Chairpersons as heads of the Councils is further support to promoting decentralization, which requires more attention from the councils, address the needs of the taxpayers and the electorates. Currently, the decentralized structures are well comprised and could only be properly utilized with actions relevant to the aspirations of the people of community.