Development is complex. It is interconnected and each move affects another. When there is progress in one area and the lack of it in another, it cannot be called progress. For there to be good results, all areas should move together, in unison. Otherwise, the areas of development that are lagging behind will affect the ones that are making progress.
The advances that have been made in the areas of education, the economy and health (health more so) can all be derailed by the lack of plans to take care of our environment. Since the beginning of the reign of the new government (dubbed New Gambia), there has been a constant problem of waste management. The case of the Bakoteh Dumpsite received a lot of attention from rights’ and other activists.
Again, the damage on the environment which was taking place due to the activities of a Chinese company in some coastal towns was also a source of a lot of agitation on the media, both print and electronic. In the past two weeks or so, another problem has emerged in Kitty Tambana. The waste is said to be causing a lot of discomfort and health hazards for residents there.
What all these point to is the need for government to have a comprehensive plan to solve the problem of waste. Waste generation is an ongoing process and does not stop for anything. As long as people live, they will generate waste. Thus, solving the problem of waste is urgent and cannot wait. It is futile to just keep saying that we are working on it; that we are working with partners. We have to act immediately.
Besides government seeking a viable solution to this problem, there is a need for a sensitization campaign for people to change attitudes and become responsible in the way they deal with waste disposal. People do not have to just believe that government is responsible and thus can dispose of waste anyhow. Citizens must understand that the country belongs to all and as such should take care of it for their own good.
Looking at the environment, one observes that even the plastic bags, the use of which is illegal, have become so rampant again that one wonders whether people even care about the law. Government must make a firm stance on waste management. Enforce the existing laws to ensure that the environment is healthy.