By Omar Bah
By Omar Bah
KMC mayor Talib Bensouda has urged the government to immediately relocate the Bakoteh dumpsite or face a looming waste crisis because his office can no longer handle the dumpsite. Communities around the dumpsite have renewed their calls for its relocation following recent fire outbreaks and attendant billowing acrid smoke that filled the atmosphere.
However, speaking in a Star FM interview to be aired today, Mayor Bensouda said: “It is time for the government to find a place to relocate the dumpsite. I want the government to see the bigger picture. If they fail to act because of politics, I want to urge them to put that aside because the dumpsite is not about Mayor Bensouda, it is about the wellbeing of the Gambian people.”
He said the government should have a waste management strategy to tackle the potential threats of waste within Banjul, Kanifing and Brikama areas.
“We have written to the government many times to put pressure on the Ministry of Lands to find a place to relocate the Bakoteh dumpsite but five years on we have not heard much. The last time they said they have identified a place but nothing has been heard about that since,” he added.
“The council has done everything humanly possible to make sure it protects the community. We have erected a 1.3km fence and another D42 million project funded by the German government through SOS is ongoing to improve the infrastructure of the dumpsite by constructing roads inside it,” he said.
He said the council paid Nawec D1 million to erect a power hydrant around the dumpsite to make it easier for the fire services in case of fire outbreaks.
“But Nawec later told us there is not enough water pressure in the area of the dumpsite to accommodate the power hydrant. This is just to tell you we have been making an effort but now the government should come in because the council can no longer handle the dumpsite,” he pleaded. Bensouda said he has also engaged the mayor of Banjul and chairman of Brikama Area Council to find a solution for a suitable dumpsite. “If we fail to get a new dumpsite anywhere close to these administrative areas, disposing of waste will be a nightmare,” he noted.