OPINION: Fish Extinction Looming In Gambia - Ahmed Manjang Explains
FISH EXTINCTION LOOMING IN GAMBIA, Ahmed Manjang Explains In his contribution to the discussion at the Gunjur Development Forum recently, Mr. Ahmed Manjang a British trained Microbiologist at the King Fahad Medical Centre in Riyad expressed his frustration on the manner in which the Golden Lead Company operates. "500 tons of fish production daily is no small amount. In a month, we talking of 15,000 tons which will accelerate to 180,000 tons of fish production per anum, " he said. In the view of Mr. Manjang, if this trend continue, it will dry our fish stock in the sea. "It doesn't need a rocket science to understand this because there are many examples before us. Those of us who were previleged to witness the Rumpalms in Gunjur, a tree used by many for roofing has dwindled so much so that you hardly find one for that purpose now," he explains. The young Gambian born scientist retreated that protein is an essential element needed in our bodies for a balanced diet and proper growth. One of such cheap food in the Gambia is fish which he said is now under a serious threat thus, should be everybody's business to avert it. The dioxin produced by the fishmeal factory will caused our people some serious health problems in the shortest period of time. He expressed his concern for the possible cancer epidemic if this company continue to use the hard oil produced from the fish oil to service their machines. Also contributing to the discussion was Ousman Manjang a Gunjurian residing in the United States who lamented that in China, pollution is really not a big deal. According Ous Manjang ,in his research, he realised that the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection Agency, has revealed that 9 out of 10 cities in China have such a robust developed economy but they failed country's pollution test. "According to the World Bank report, 20 of the World's most polluted cities are in China. China is the World's largest polluter, a quarter of the World's Co2(carbon dioxide ) comes from China," he asserted. China,he continued burns almost as much coal as the rest of the World combined. "Chinese scientists say the air pollution in some places has been so bad that its effects is like a nuclear winter that affects the plant's ability to grow," he explains. "China is home to 459 cancer villages according to Chinese media academics and NGO estimates. How and why do we think they will care about ours " he charged? For his part the Executive Director of Gunjur Environmental Protection And Development Group (GEPADGP )Mr. Badara Njie Bajo, the environmental impact and degradation caused by the Golden Lead Company to the the "Bolong Fenyo " protected site is immeasurable. "We have worked so hard to establish an ecosystem around this site and our efforts are been frustrated thanks to the Golden Lead Company's bad operational style, "he cried. Mr B.N Bajo , who throws some pictures of dead crabs, birds and fishes as well as the changing of the lagoon's clour into red, white and now green in the forum as evidence of the bad impact the factory caused on the site could not believe this is happening. Base 5 as fondly called by many claimed he has continuously cried for a stop on the fowl play by the factory on them but to no avail. He called on the community to join heads together to reach an amicable solution before its too late. Mrs Sukai Jobe , another Gunjurian residing in the US has called on Kombo South to come together and do what she called as "Unity for a Purpose "despite some little differencesbetween us. This she says is not only about Gunjur, Kartong or Sanyang but the whole district and country at large. Thus it's a no child's play. Mrs Awa Tukulorr Sey and many other prominent Gunjurians and Gambians has all added their voices to the discussion. It is worth reporting that the community of Gunjur and Kartong has conducted a cleansing exercise at the Gunjur beach last Thursday in commemoration of the World's Ocean Day. A cross section of the community converge to take part in the exercise.