By Omar Bah
Kanifing Municipal Council, KMC, the most densely populated place in the Gambia is currently faced with huge crisis in managing waste as the municipality is littered with garbage.
Garbage could be found almost in every street and corner of the KMC, most especially the Bakoteh Fish and Serekunda markets, following the closure of its main dumpsite.
Residents blame the authorities for the seemingly out-of-control indiscriminate dumping.
With nowhere to dispose the municipality’s rubbish after closure of Bakoteh dumpsite, the council’s waste collectors are also simply out of ideas as they resort to taking the garbage all the way to Banjul.
“The ongoing garbage crisis which has left KMC streets filled with rotting trash exemplifies what is fundamentally wrong with the country: A political class that has no interest in serving the public,” said Alagie Njie, a resident of Bakoteh referring to the former government.
Ousman Nyang, a nurse, said now that there is nowhere to dump waste residents began dumping their garbage wherever they could.
He said the continued accumulation of garbage in the streets and markets, combined with the rainy season poses a risk to public health.
“The tragic part of the whole story is the solution to the waste crisis is obvious and straightforward. What KMC and Gambia in particular needs is a national strategy on how to deal with waste in general and determine what role should be assigned to key stakeholders,” he said.
Fatou Bojang, a market vendor, said: “Everywhere you look now you could see garbage, you see that every day and you’re like, ‘I don’t want to contribute any more waste’.”
Youths of Bakoteh had recently staged an all-out protest against dumping at the municipality’s main dumpsite, leading to its unceremonious closure.
With no other authorized dumpsite around and the national cleaning exercise gone with Jammeh, can KMC contain the widespread dumping especially in the rainy season?