Environment minister says set-setal is ‘voluntary’

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By Tabora Bojang

The Minister of Environment Rohey John Manjang has clarified that businesses will not be closed for the duration of the nationwide monthly cleansing exercise, set-settal, which will commence on Saturday with President Adama Barrow himself expected to take part.

Minister Rohey John Manjang announced last week that her ministry in collaboration with the National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Office of The President has agreed to bring back the exercise which was halted after the ousting of former president Jammeh.

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Following the minister’s announcement small businesses including market and vegetable vendors raised concern and seek clarification as to whether the exercise would mean closing of businesses as was the case under Jammeh.

But speaking to The Standard Sunday, Environment Minister Manjang said the set-settal is ‘voluntary’ and there will be no business closures.

“It is not going to be compulsory as before and businesses will not be closed. We are not going to put anybody under pressure but we want people to understand that this is a national duty. It should not be hard for the business community to take at least one or two hours break and keep their environment and surroundings clean. We want people to take up the responsibility together.  So, we are appealing to everyone who wakes up in the Gambia on Saturday to join the cleansing exercise”, the minister said, adding that President Barrow himself will take part.