The government of the Gambia is walking a tight rope, as it were. On one hand, the country desperately needs investment from outside in order to boost the economy which is almost at an all time low. The state of the economy is not very good and as a result unemployment is skyrocketing and there is no hope of stemming it anytime soon. Thus, they may accept any form of investment from anywhere.
Golden Lead Factory is perhaps a lucrative company from which the country can earn a lot of money and provide some employment. This is perhaps the explanation for the renewal of their operating license even after a horde of citizens raised concerns over the environmental cost of this company’s operation.
This is a complex issue and should be studied carefully in order for it to be a win-win situation instead of one side gaining and the other losing a lot. In the past day or two, some six people have been arrested for protesting over the issue of the operation of the Golden Lead factory. These people claim that they have been moved by the concern of citizens of the village over what could happen to their environment, which actually should be a concern for all Gambians.
Their arrest has been condemned by activists in the country who see it as government trying to muzzle dissent. This is the situation and should be looked into carefully for solutions to be sought and the problem resolved. Here comes what should have happened: dialogue. The fact that government chooses to remain tight-lipped most of the time is not helping this or any other situation. Both parties should engage in dialogue with a view to finding an amicable solution to the problem.