Letters: Are our laws seasonal?

87

Dear Editor,
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article calling the attention of the public to the proliferation of the trash that is being imported into the country, particularly refrigerators.

These are dangerous and have the potential of doing great harm to the ecosystem and the health of the nation.

Everywhere one turns to in this country one observes secondhand (sometimes third hand) refrigerators, scrap cars, electronic gadgets and so on.

It is widely known that all these are harmful to the health and wellbeing of the nation; yet, no one seems to be doing anything about it.

One cannot fathom what the National Environment Agency (NEA) is doing about these issues, if anything.

The NEA is mandated to do a particular job but it seems they are neglecting their functions and as a result, the whole nation may suffer the consequences.

Of recent, people have resumed the indiscriminate importation and use of the plastic bags again.

It seems that the former president Yahya Jammeh took along that law when he was going into exile! What a country! When something good is started, everyone hails it and a few months down the line, it is swept under the carpet.

This is all due to the culture of citizens not holding public officials to account.

These departments are funded from taxpayers’ money and the officials are paid from the national coffers.

Yet, they do not seem to care one bit about the good of the nation. One wonders of what good is the magnificent building of the NEA!
Every now and then, you hear of workshops here and there especially those that require the top officials to travel outside the country because they will be paid per diems.

Thus, instead of focusing on the work they are supposed to do, they keep running around looking for workshops and trainings just so they can milk the nation of its limited resources.

Then they will be bragging about the experience they gained from all these meetings.

Of what use is such experience if it does not impact on the lives and livelihoods of the citizens? When will we change our attitudes?
With all these in the public eye and in plain view of elected and appointed officials, people are oblivious as if it will not affect them.

The truth is that it will affect everyone. Just look at the rainy season and see.

Since June up until now, very few raindrops have touched ground in this country. Do we not realize that there is a connection between our behavior and the rains? The Gambia suffered from food crisis just last year due to poor rainfall. Are we prepared for another one?
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) is here trying haphazardly to raise funds in order to alleviate the suffering of flood victims. This is another consequence of the destruction of our environment.

Yet, it seems that everything is dandy.

Again, here is another occasion in which I will blame the total ineffectiveness of our National Assembly.

There is a select committee on environment and still they have done nothing to ensure that NEA does its work. What purpose does our National Assembly serve?

Musa Bah
Scribbler