By Aisha Tamba
The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources has revealed that her ministry intends to bring back the monthly cleansing exercise, dubbed set-settal, introduced but enforced with autocratic style under former dictator Jammeh. Held on the last Saturday of every month under Jammeh, the day also means no business or movement of vehicles until after Midday.
According to Rohey John Manjang, the National Environment Agency in consultation and collaboration with her ministry and approval of President Barrow, has agreed to bring back set-settal. She revealed that the first set-settal will be observed on the 28th January 2023 from 9am to 1pm.
“We are indirectly also engaging the entire population of The Gambia to make sure that an all-inclusive ‘set settal’ is executed.
The ‘set settal’ is meant to respond to the priorities and the demand of the public in keeping the nation clean for healthy livelihoods this time around. In this implementation, we are requesting the support of every key player among them, the councils, municipalities, and the focus is going to be in the Greater Banjul Area,” the minister said.
She called on the councils to help in regulating the environmental laws. “I urge the councils to put efforts together since it is the councils’ responsibility for collecting the waste, and to make sure they support the management in enacting the environmental laws.”
“When we had the national dialogue on sustainable waste management all being motivated by the rampant waste that we are all seeing around us, messing the environment and polluting the environment is affecting our health and livelihoods. And of course, this gives us a bad name as a country. I used to say no matter how beautiful we keep this country with infrastructure, if it is not clean it’s just next to having nothing,” she stated.