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City of Banjul
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Kartong Facebook sensationalism

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Dear editor,

I will appreciate publicity if this piece meant to dispel the picture some agitators want to brush Kartong in paint as the abode of “resisters”. The so-called demonstration against the establishment of a fishmeal factory amid claims of environmental damage has left much of the community members flabbergasted.

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The agitators may have garnered legitimate points if they had listened to the village authorities who had been following the right protocols to establish the facts about the emergence of the fishmeal factory in the locality without the community’s involvement.

Pertinent to dispel is the fact that the factory is owned by the Chinese as claimed by the band of protesters. These anti-establishment “ayers” thought they can steal the show away by agitating using the cover of the newly-found freedom of expression and democracy to reach some unbeknown goals. All sane and genuine Kartongkas disassociate themselves with their action and would want to welcome the setting up of the factory as a ground-breaking development.

How daring! They alleged that our venerable elders have sold the piece of land for some bags of sugar, dates and dalasi. Please, do your research before you make certain pronouncements. Stop being Facebook sensationalists courting, for real, some undeserving patronage.

Kartongkas, especially those in authority, have faith in the government of the day and since the factory owner has got all the legitimate documents to put up the outfit and is as well willing to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the community, it fills their heart.

I, the author is not oblivious of the many points the agitators raised against the setting up of the factory like environmental hazards that thereto are likely to emanate. This gives all the reasons why the community is insisting on getting the owner produce an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) document of the National Environment Agency. To allay fears further, the outfit will host a waste treatment plant that shall guarantee a hazard-free environment.

Many under-hand supporters of the so-called demo also insinuated the accolade of Kartong as an eco-tourism community. This is rather a flimsy case to retort about. Kartong is going to continue to be an eco-haven if only left with the envisaged fishmeal factory. In fact, the tourism sector stands to profit from the business of the factory further as its coming into being will boost the fisheries sector and make the hard-to-get aquatic delicacies available to the tastes of the guests.

On the employment front, the many jobless youth will find a means of livelihood with the set-up as fisher folk, middlemen, sideline sellers or what have you. Women sellers will get a readied market since there will be no shortage of buyers of their vegetable produce or small businesses. By the way “back-way” has had its toll on Kartong youths with even some regrettable incidents (deaths and ill-treatment).

We stand to gain together, so folks let’s give way to progress and development. If we do not allow the harvest of our natural sea resources for our own gain, then let’s standby and see it siphoned and depleted by international foreign ships to our utter chagrin. Wassalam!

Lamin Jarjou
Kombo Kartong

On the Kanilai incident

Dear editor,

If the Kanilai protesters were with weapons, how come only civilians were killed and injured? I will not be naive enough to believe Mai Fatty’s stories. We have to hear from both sides of the coin. At least that’s what justice demands.
I hope the national media will also give them a chance to be heard. By the way, how did Mai come to this conclusion since he was away when the incident happened? How could he have known the truth in just few hours of his arrival without visiting the scene?
Really ridiculous to the bones! If there were local weapons how come they didn’t appear in any of the videos circulated online?
What does Mai mean by locally procured weapons and how did that endanger the international forces to the point that they had to spray live rounds on the protesters killing one of them and injuring many others? He really did not answer this question.
Our government now has blood in her hands. And because of that the difference between them and the Jammeh regime is gone for good.
Is this story not similar to the same excuse Jammeh gave us after killing peaceful students on April 10 several years ago? Now I believe that history repeats itself.

Mustapha Kah
Jeshwang

Do not confuse public health with politics

Dear editor,

Water-poor communities are typically economically poor as well, their residents trapped in an ongoing cycle of poverty.
This is my worst weekend in the new dispensation.
No electricity, no water; my family is compelled to drink from an unprotected well that my parents reserved for watering their animals.
NAWEC, don’t you know the consequences of keeping densely populated towns and villages without electricity and water?
United Nations considers universal access to clean water a basic human right, and an essential step towards improving living standards worldwide.
Education suffers when sick children miss school. Economic opportunities are routinely lost to the impacts of rampant illness and the time-consuming processes of acquiring water where it is not readily available. Children and women bear the brunt of these burdens.
Water is obviously essential for hydration and for food production—but sanitation is an equally important, and complementary, use of water. A lack of proper sanitation services not only breeds disease, it can rob people of their basic human dignity.
Finally, I think we are making this coalition government very lazy by saying Babili took all the monies in the government coffers.

Alhagie Bah

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