Speaking at a consultative meeting held at Kanifing Municipal Council which accumulated staff and mayors of KMC including community leaders to discuss, identify and address the issue of illegal waste dumping within communities, the environment minister said:“ We have gone round and what we saw was not pleasing. But we think this is not the time for blame game. This is the time for us to put our heads together. We have noble people here. We have elderly people here; people who have seen yesterday and today, people who can advise us, who know their surroundings better than us. So all we need to do is to bring all of you [community leaders] and identify the problems together.
“This is not the responsibility of the KMC alone; it is the responsibility of everybody. We are all living in these surroundings and we are the ones who are producing waste. It is the responsibility of everybody who is producing waste to think about how to manage waste. So the purpose for calling you is for us to look at the problems, come up with solutions on how we can collaborate, synergies, moblise resources together because we all know the constraints of the municipality”.
He added: “We all know that land is a problem. We all know that the infrastructure is inadequate. We all know operational maintenance of waste management and disposal is a challenge. All we need to do is to see how we can bring all these issues together, think of a strategy how we can reduce the waste. Recycle if possible, collect it at collection points and then dispose it at designated places. I know you are people of wisdom and I believe by the end of one or two hours you would come-up with noble ideas that we can put together and sell to donors. This would complement the little resources that we have to ensure that we have a clean environment”.
For his part, the mayor of KMC Yankuba Colley re-echoed that safe- guarding and preserving the environment should be the responsibility of every citizen.
“Most of the problems we are grappling with today in creating a clean environment within our communities are man-made problems. They are problems that we created our selves. Many dumpsites in the country are not official but created by ordinary people or communities. I would like to call on Gambians to desist from such behaviors in order to build the Gambia we all yearn for”.
Recently, the environment minister together with delegates from the KMC and relevant stakeholders embarked on a tour within the greater Banjul area to inspect the dumping-sites and the situation in which the inhabitants are living.Officials visited the Bakoteh , Old Jeshwang, Old Cape Point Wet land areas, Bakau Kachikally, Kotu Quarry and Tallinding dumpsites among others to gain an accurate picture of the situation.]]>