By Omar Bah
The Mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council, Yankuba Colley has said that the closure of the Bakoteh dumpsite can degenerate into an environmental disaster in the KMC unless a solution is found as soon as possible.
Addressing journalists yesterday at his office, the KMC Mayor stressed that the Council and its residents could face severe consequences if the rains find the dumpsite still closed.
“If the government continues to be silent over this matter things will go very bad for the KMC because at the moment waste is being dumped everywhere without any control and the Council doesn’t have the capacity to dispose them all,” he said.
He said the government shouldn’t allow some disgruntle people to hold the Council and the nation at ransom in the name of new dispensation or democracy.
“Yes there is democracy, but that doesn’t mean we should take the law into our own hands. I am appealing to the government to come to the aid of the Council, because we are now taking this to be sabotage against all the progress made by the Council over the years. These young men were only given a permit to demonstrate but not to close the dumpsite,” he buttressed.
Mayor Colley said the Council is suffering more than ever before because of this closure. “Waste is a global phenomenon that affects the whole world. So, if people think KMC is not doing anything or we can settle the issues of waste management overnight they must be kidding.”
Colley said despite the difficulties attached to waste issues, “during the former regime the Council was not faced with such difficulties, but since the coming of the new regime things have radically changed in terms of attitude which I believe should stop now,” he said.
Mayor Colley said while he agrees that the dumpsite may be affecting residents of the area, but little is being said about the fact that the dumpsite was in existence before they settle there.
Asked why the dumpsite has not been worked on since to make it manageable, Colley said the Council has over the years engaged many development partners around the world for the rehabilitation of the dumpsite, “but we couldn’t find a genuine partner and all work was done by Council.”