The fifth day of June every year is celebrated as World Environment Day. The United Nations uses this occasion, among many others, to encourage awareness and action for the protection of environment worldwide.
This important day was first observed in 1974 and has been a leading campaign for increasing awareness on emerging environmental issues from marine pollution, human overpopulation, and global warming, to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime.
World Environment Day has become a global platform for public outreach with participation from over a hundred and fifty countries annually. Each year, World Environment Day has a new theme that major corporations, NGOs, communities, governments and celebrities worldwide adopt to advocate environmental causes.
The commemoration of World Environment Day could not come at a better time in the Gambia. Our environment is so battered that there is a threat to our flora and fauna. In fact, this is why there are environmentalist groups in many parts of the country battling with the government or companies.
The amount of plastic waste that is dumped at the Bakoteh Dumpsite is colossal and needs to be looked at as a matter of urgency. This year’s theme is a wake-up call for The Gambia in particular because if we do not do anything, plastic is about to damage our environment completely.
The environment in Gunjur, Faraba, Tanji and other coastal towns is worrying and needs to be looked into as well. In short, it is a day of reflection on our environment and what harm we are doing to it. This will perhaps help us find a way to minimize this damage.